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October 7, 2019 1:45 PM, EDT

Volvo Partners With Geotab to Offer Integrated ELD

Volvo, Geotab partner on ELD technology. Peter Voorhoeve speaks to press. (Marissa Gamache/Transport Topics)

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SAN DIEGO — Volvo Trucks highlighted its investments in connected vehicle technology and introduced a fully integrated electronic logging device for its trucks through a partnership with telematics firm Geotab.

The new ELD option, Geotab Drive for Volvo Trucks, combines Volvo’s factory-installed telematics hardware with Geotab’s ELD application, the truck maker announced during an Oct. 6 press conference here at American Trucking Associations’ Management Conference & Exhibition.

The integrated ELD, which is available for model-year 2015 and newer trucks equipped with Volvo engines, enables fleets to electronically record drivers’ hours-of-service information in compliance with the federal ELD mandate.

Unlike many other ELDs that utilize WiFi or Bluetooth connections to deliver data, Geotab Drive for Volvo Trucks uses a cloud-based system for capturing and transmitting data, the truck maker said.

Fleet managers can monitor HOS compliance with real-time data through the MyGeotab portal and view reports on driver logs and violation alerts.

This “bring-your-own-device” system is compatible with Android and Apple smart devices, said Johan Agebrand, director of product marketing.

He predicted that the industry will move toward factory-installed hardware for ELDs in lieu of traditional aftermarket installations.

“I think the fleets don’t want to install any secondary hardware at all,” Agebrand said. “I think the industry will go more towards integration of ELD devices.”

The ELD partnership with Geotab is the latest in a line of new connected vehicle features offered by Volvo Trucks.

Peter Voorhoeve, president of Volvo Trucks North America, cited connectivity as one of the three big trends shaping the future of commercial vehicles, along with automation and electromobility.

“Connectivity is a change we sometimes talk a little bit less about than electromobility and automation, but it is a very important one,” he said.

Worldwide, Volvo Group now has 1 million connected assets in service, including 560,000 Volvo trucks, 200,000 of which are in North America, Voorhoeve said.

Connected vehicle technology is enabling improvements in vehicle uptime through remote diagnostics to better manage maintenance and repairs, he said.

The truck maker also offers over-the-air programming for parameters such as shifting patterns, he added.

Meanwhile, Volvo also continues to move forward with the introduction of electric trucks in North America.

The truck maker is preparing to commercialize a battery-electric version of its VNR regional-haul model by the end of 2020.

In the meantime, Volvo is deploying electric trucks as part of the Volvo LIGHTS project — which stands for low-impact green heavy transport solutions — in Southern California.

That $90 million project is funded by a $45 million grant from the California Air Resources Board and a $45 million investment by Volvo.

“The future is not the future anymore,” Voorhoeve said. “The future is today. The future is here.”

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