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12/11/2015 5:00:00 PM Write a Letter to the Editor Write a letter to the Editor

ELD Rule to Boost Technology Adoption

Mike Roemer Photography, Inc.
The federal rule requiring carriers to use electronic logging devices will dramatically accelerate the industry’s adoption of onboard technology, resulting in a market where some carriers will focus only on basic compliance while others will look for additional features to improve efficiency, suppliers and analysts said.

Industry analyst Clem Driscoll described the federal ELD rule as perhaps the most significant event in the history of commercial-vehicle telematics.

He said the mandate will necessitate rapid adoption of ELDs through late 2017, when the rule is expected to go into effect, since a majority of the trucks on the road are not yet equipped with the technology.

Beyond 2017, the telematics market will shift to upgrades and added services, in large part for smaller trucking companies that start out with a basic ELD product but then seek to get more out of their onboard technology, Driscoll predicted.

ELD RULE ANNOUNCED: Main story with reaction

ELD makers expect to bring their current systems into compliance with the new rule through software updates rather than major hardware changes.

At first glance, “nothing’s really alarming” about the final rule, said Elise Chianelli, director of safety and compliance at PeopleNet.

She said the data-transfer options and the exemption for model-year 2000 and older trucks without electronic control modules addressed some concerns about the rule.

Looking ahead, Chianelli said different carriers will adopt different types of ELD products, with some just complying with the mandate and others looking for more opportunities for a return on investment though applications such as fuel-mileage tracking, vehicle-location monitoring, dispatch and onboard navigation.

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By Seth Clevenger
Technology Editor

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