The dizzying array of new gadgets and systems can be a techno-whirlwind for operators looking to run leaner and better. LCT offers a sampler of companies and products that will help define industry technology into the future.
(201) 693-4150 Paramus, NJ
The Omatics GPS tracking and fleet management system was built from the ground up specifically for the limousine industry. The company has developed new technologies for managers and dispatchers to instantly locate a vehicle closest to the pickup point, optimizing driver routes to minimize fuel consumption, get real time updates on driver status, and find out how long it will take for the driver to reach destinations. Omatics also employs real time GPS information to provide alerts to passengers and dispatch on driver status. The company’s “TraceRoute” technology enables the dispatch and accounting staff to determine the exact route taken by the driver, total time for the reservation, and stop times and toll expenses along the route — all of which are displayed on a map. Omatics will soon launch advanced technologies such as Wi-Fi and mobile terminals in vehicles to help further optimize dispatch operations.
www.myfasttrak.com (800) 533-6440 Phoenix, AZ; Dallas, TX; and Charleston, SC
Coming soon is the new FastTrak MyBizTrips DirectConnect Traveler Services reservation and management software, built on the newest Windows 7 technology. It will provide corporate/new customer online bookings; an e-affiliate electronic booking exchange; employee and driver scheduling; new dynamic drag/drop intelligent dispatch; Flight Explorer and FlightView tracking; booking segment tracking; Department of Transportation-compliant date and time-stamped stops; vehicle maintenance tracking and alerts; and support for multi-company operations.
www.fleetboss.com (877) 265-9559 Fern Park, FL
In August, Fleet Boss partnered with Garmin to launch the Series 6000 GPS system, a low cost fleet management mobile terminal. The system allows operators the flexibility of locating vehicles and running reports from their smartphones. A manager on the road who needs to know where the closest vehicle is to a given client can now use a smartphone to find out where the vehicles are on the application. Drivers can now update their field status through a touch screen on the Garmin, send canned message responses, and receive dispatch’s event notices. It also can be used as a communications device.
www.groundlink.com (267) 269-1942 New York
The GroundLink iPhone Application is a one-stop shop for all ground transportation on the customer’s mobile device, allowing them to book ground travel service from cars to limousines, and some taxis and shuttles from and to any point around the world. The app allows any user to order ground transportation quickly and efficiently. It is designed to enable customers to find, choose and reserve car service on the GroundLink network, and shows the closest services available based on the time and date the customer needs to be picked up. Operators can bypass the inefficiencies associated with the telephone reservation or “hail-a-cab” process. Retail customers can download the app from the iTunes store.
www.streeteagle-gps.com (866) 658-1191 California, MD
The Street Eagle GPS system now comes with two new features: a Garmin interface and a Public Viewer. StreetEagle’s Public Viewer provides “hands-free” automatic vehicle location and status updates. With StreetEagle automatically reporting vehicle location status at intervals of up to two minutes, operators have top security surveillance 24/7. It hosts a premier mapping application, Google Maps, which enables the customer to view the vehicle’s location on a standard map or as a satellite image. With the map controls provided, drivers, dispatchers and customers can pan and zoom to view fully detailed satellite images of vehicles’ present or past location activity, either on a mobile smart phone or a laptop. A partner of Garmin, InSight also has added a Garmin interface to Street Eagle. The driver plugs the Garmin directly into the Street Eagle tracking unit, giving the dispatcher the ability to send messages and route locations to the Garmin. The driver can send back messages and statuses to the dispatcher without losing focus on driving.
LIVERY COACH SOLUTIONS
www.liverycoach.com (610) 296-7800 Southeastern, PA
Livery Coach and partner eFleet now offer the iPilot, an in-car data terminal. Livery Coach recently built an e-mail application into the software, which talks directly to the mail server, providing operators with greater flexibility in managing documentation. Fleet managers also can use different e-mails for various brands. Livery Coach Business Management Software can run multiple companies to accommodate acquisitions. This added flexibility enables managers to easily operate the brands independently if they choose. They can use the fleet-centralized reservation and dispatch, so customers continue to get documents that appear as if they’re coming from the separate companies while actually all being run by one system. The feature will be standard and is being gradually rolled out to customers.
VEHICLE TRACKING SOLUTIONS
www.vehicletrackingsolutions.com (631) 339-7170 Long Island, N.Y.
Vehicle Tracking Solutions’ Silent Passenger Android Application monitors vehicles while on the go. Available to all Vehicle Tracking Solutions customers, this app allows operators to view the whereabouts of their fleets and run historical stops reports, all from an Android mobile phone.
SIDEBAR: Consumer Electronics Show Magnifies Innovations
To experience the future of technology, the place to be this Jan. 6-9, 2011 is at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Sarah Myers, senior communications manager of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), says that the key in-vehicle technology trends that CEA research analysts expect to see on the
2011 International CES show floor include:
• Internet connectivity to the car, for entertainment, communication and safety. This is a central tech feature that enables a myriad of options in cars today. Ford Sync, which will be on the show floor in Ford vehicles, provides a great example of the new possibilities connectivity brings, Myers says. The technology uses your cell phone, connected via Bluetooth, to provide the Internet connection, so no new subscription is required. Information: http://www.fordvehicles.com/technology/sync/
• Voice recognition is also getting more play in command and control of car functions and communications such as hands-free. This is mostly in the OEM (new cars) market at this stage.
• Vehicle Apps is a third trend expected to emerge at the 2011 CES that interplays with the previous two. “You’ll see vehicle-centric apps like EcoDrive that offer driver feedback on how to save fuel and drive more ‘green’,” Myers says. Other vehicle-centric apps will perform diagnostics, measure performance or other car-related metrics.