Boca Raton, FL. PeopleNet chose its 10th annual user conference here in Florida this week to make three new product announcements, including the availability of its fully functional software on commercial-grade handheld devices, a management app that provides critical event alerts to smart devices, and  the availability of a Spanish language option on its BLU.2 onboard computer.

“The integration of PeopleNet’s software with commercial-grade handhelds is a natural progression in offering an advanced end-to-end management solution,” Brian McLaughlin, PeopleNet president said. “By enabling our customers to conveniently access more display options that are fully supported as part of the power of our data-rich applications through a single display, we are providing another option for managing their supply chain.”

Intermec is the first supplier to partner with PeopleNet to provide this new solution, designed to meet the market’s need for point-of-work management throughout the supply chain, from pick-up to the customer’s doorstep to the back office.

“This integration was customer driven by users we shared with PeopleNet, especially those in the consumer goods private fleets sector,” noted Jeffrey Sibio, industry marketing director for Intermec. “The combination of Intermec’s point-of-work solution with PeopleNet’s in-cab technologies allows for the efficient single solution approach our customers have been looking for.”

“People can now have a handheld as another choice of displays,” Ron Konezny, general manager, transportation and logistics for PeopleNet’s parent company Trimble, told Fleet Owner. “It is the same software [we already use on other devices] so the move also gives us the benefits of scale.

“People want to standardize on their telematics platform,” he added. “Over time, our mobile applications will take on a life of their own and compliment the use of other platforms.”

The company also announced that it has introduced a management app to provide critical event alerts within seconds to smart devices, based upon data from multiple sources. PeopleNet’s vice president of tailored solutions, Randy Boyles, made the announcement during the opening general session of the meeting to an audience of some 850 attendees.

Safety and maintenance managers in particular will appreciate the immediacy and detail of alerts, Boyles noted. “There is a tremendous amount of safety and maintenance-related information available through PeopleNet reports. However, we understand that there are events that require immediate attention rather than waiting to review reports,” he said. “We are taking advantage of smart-device technology’s notification features to develop this safety app for helping customers avoid potential safety incidents and better protect drivers and the public.”

The new PeopleNet system sends an alert to registered smart-device users. When an alert is received, the user can access relevant event data through the alert. For instance, if there were a rollover-stability or sudden-deceleration event, a satellite map of the incident would be provided along with pre- and post-incident trails, all of the particulars of the incident, the identity of the driver, the driver’s available hours of service (HOS), and their past 24-hour HOS activity. The last five safety events for the driver are also displayed to help assess the emergence of a negative trend.

PeopleNet developed the new safety app for iPad first, leading a line-up of apps that includes: a maintenance app, featuring fault code and tire pressure alerts to help fleets avoid major overhaul expenses and poor fuel economy; and a vehicle location and messaging app that allows executives to check on key concerns regardless of location. Additional availability of all apps for the iPhone and Android devices is in the works, as well.

PeopleNet also introduced a Spanish language option available for its BLU.2 onboard computer. All menu items, system messages and field names on all screens may be changed to Spanish to boost the use comfort level with BLU.2 for Spanish-speaking drivers in addition to shortening their learning curves. The newly added function also supports future geographic expansion to countries such as Mexico and Puerto Rico, Konezny told Fleet Owner.

“Having offered this option in French for some time to our Canadian customers, we wanted to offer this opportunity to customers who have drivers with Spanish as their native language,” Tom Dorazio, senior product manager, said. “While drivers must understand English to be DOT compliant, having this ability reduces training time and cost by helping drivers learn how to use the system more quickly, particularly in the southern states, where Spanish is more commonly spoken.”