Las Vegas. Zonar chose the American Trucking Associations' annual Management Conference & Exhibition here in Las Vegas to introduce its new, ruggedized telematics tablet dubbed the “2020.” The portable, open-platform, android device, which also has a docking station in the cab, sports a seven-inch screen with resistive-touch display, a 16GB NAND Flash storage memory, SD/MMC card slot, 5 megapixel camera with LED flash, video recording capability, in-cab training, Bluetooth and even a built-in flashlight.

The 2020 also provides two-way messaging to further enhance fleet productivity and improve communication. It includes in-boxes, message templates and a grouping function for sending messages to specific groups of vehicles. Received addresses from two-way messaging can also be opened up in the 2020 navigation program for accurate turn-by-turn directions.

At about $500 per unit, however, it is the system’s functionality that garnered most of the attention at its debut. The 2020 provides electronic inspection, hours-of-service, instant driver performance feedback, fuel efficiency tools, two-way messaging and advanced commercial navigation (via ALK’s CoPilot Truck) in an open platform that allows fleets to integrate other systems and customize its use.

The electronic inspection and verification capability of the new 2020 is thanks to linkage with Zonar’s patented Electronic Vehicle Inspection Report (EVIR) system. Drivers use the 2020’s built-in RFID reader to scan tags placed at inspection points around the vehicle. They complete their menu-supported inspection report using the onscreen QWERTY keyboard and can send pictures of defects with the completed report.  All inspection information is available to fleet and maintenance managers through Zonar’s web-based Ground Traffic Control application.

While EVIR helps with inspection compliance, Zonar’s ZLogs helps ensure hours-of-service compliance. Available through 2020 and new to Ground Traffic Control, ZLogs is an hours-of-service application enabling drivers to view available hours, update duty status and electronically submit service records through the tablet. Specifically designed with the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA) in mind, the 2020 hours-of-service application meets the US DOT standards in 49 CFR Part 395.15, according to Zonar.

“The 2020 tablet was made to be an EOBR,” Mike McQuade, chief technology officer at Zonar, told the audience. “When [the standard goes into effect], it will be ready to go.”

Navigation on the 2020 is provided via the CoPilot Truck navigation developed by ALK Technologies. An on-board solution featuring over-the-air (OTA) capabilities, CoPilot Truck allows drivers to calculate optimal truck-specific routes based on their vehicle profile dimensions, routing parameters and load-specific information (including hazmat categories), without the need for off-board computations.

Up-to-date, street-level maps of the United States and Canada, enhanced with PC*MILER truck-specific attributes, are stored directly on-board the 2020 for constant, reliable access.  Color-coded traffic alerts indicate areas where drivers should expect moderate or severe delays. Drivers can also easily locate the nearest fuel station or lodging with over 7 million Points of Interest stored on the 2020.

The 2020 also links to Daimler Trucks North America’s (DTNA) Virtual Technician and to the ZCon fueling system. A new “My Driving” application, which uses advanced analytics to process data from the truck and other sources, will provide on-line feedback and coaching for drivers even before they have returned to the terminal.

“There are two ways to go if you are a telematics provider, McQuade told Fleet Owner. “You can design a device from the chip level up (which is pricy) or you can go out and buy something from another company and begin programming from there. The problem with that approach is that it limits what you can do. [We elected not to go with an off-the-shelf solution as a starting point.]”

“This product is the most important advancement for Zonar since the invention of the patented, Electronic Vehicle Inspection Report (EVIR),” said McQuade. “From vehicle inspections to driver behavior, the 2020 is an all-in-one device that captures information throughout various aspects of fleet operations to provide managers with true fleet visibility and drivers with a versatile productivity tool.”