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March 8, 2010 3:00 PM, EST
Qualcomm Unveils Software For Fleets to Monitor Drivers

By Neil Abt, News Editor

This story appears in the March 8 print edition of Transport Topics. Click here to subscribe today.

LAS VEGAS — Qualcomm Inc. unveiled here its new Analytics Manager Service, which the company said would allow fleets to monitor driver performance and safety more easily.

Norm Ellis, vice president of sales, services and marketing at Qualcomm Enterprise Services, said the tool, which will be available later this year, could be of particular use to small- and medium-sized carriers that may not have the same information technology sophistication as some larger fleets.

Analytics Manager will offer driver safety reports and scorecards, critical-event reporting and industry benchmarking.

Ellis told Transport Topics the tool in part is designed to help fleets quantify how they are performing under the government’s upcoming Comprehensive Safety Analysis 2010 regulation.

“We are getting a lot of requests [about CSA 2010]. Companies are trying to understand what data will be included,” he said here during the Truckload Carriers Association annual meeting.

Ellis said that by this fall, trucking companies would be able to customize the tool to track safety performance, as well as hours of service, fuel consumption, idling time and other key measures. It will pull data from many services to show a fleet how it compares with peers.

“By pulling the customer’s data together from their use of Qualcomm’s existing products and services, we are able to provide the fleet manager with an in-depth analysis for making immediate improvements to the fleet,” Ellis said.

Separately, Qualcomm announced Maptuit’s NaviGo Fuel and NaviGo Hazmat add-ons to the navigation service on its Mobile Computing Platform series. The fuel service provides customizable information on stations and prices within a set radius or corridor.

NaviGo Hazmat can ensure drivers are routed away from restricted roads, based on specific hazardous materials.

Also at the TCA show, Qualcomm announced that both Marten Transport Ltd. and FedEx Custom Critical had chosen the company’s Mobile Computing Platform 200 Series for their entire fleets.

The MCP200, Qualcomm’s most sophisticated computing system, offers standard Wi-Fi and cellular connectivity, an Internet browser and in-cab video training, in addition to its existing monitoring and navigation functions.

Qualcomm said Marten is the first refrigerated carrier to install the MCP200 across its full fleet. Based in Mondovi, Wis., Marten ranks No. 44 on the Transport Topics 100 list of the largest U.S. and Canadian for-hire carriers.

“Moving to the MCP200 enables us to move more work inside the truck in ways that benefit our drivers, our customers and our business,” Robert Smith, chief operations officer of Marten Transport, said in a release. “We know that we will save money and streamline our operations by being able to use the MCP200 in-cab features, such as Wi-Fi, and we are already hearing positive feedback from our drivers using electronic hours of service.”

FedEx Custom Critical, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. that offers same-day and next-day service in the United States and Canada, said the MCP200 would allow it to create a better communications system with its drivers, all of whom are owner-operators. FedEx ranks No. 2 on the for-hire TT 100.

Qualcomm announced last month that Dupré Logistics was installing the MCP100 Series across its fleet.

Ellis said Qualcomm is committed to both platforms and that the recent announcements show that the company is able to tailor its different systems to meet the needs of any size or type of carrier.

He also said the company is continuing to work with scientists and academic experts to reduce driver distractions while also ensuring that drivers receive necessary information in a way that allow them “to stay focused on the task of operating the vehicle safely.”