‘’More than just a mapping or tracking tool, Hino-Connect delivers 700 Series customers real-time insights into the operation of fleets,” says Gus Belanszky, General Manager, Service and Customer Support for Hino Australia. “In an Australian-first, Hino-Connect will allow direct communications with drivers through the intelligent multimedia unit.
“This time around we were able to work very closely with the Japanese engineers,” says Gus. “Previously, there had been a bit of back engineering and trying to read the signals on the truck, but this time we were able to get direct access and how to read the data out of the vehicle.
“One of the really big features is the ability to read the fault codes, how to get fuel consumption data, we get all of the information directly out of the ECU. It also means we can send messages to the driver. in the past there was just a fault on the dash, but now the telematics will look at what the fault is, determine whether its severe, and if it is, a message will pop up to tell the driver the fault is severe and give them a call to action, to contact our roadside assistance team.”
The messages will only be used if the fault is one which will lead to the system derating the truck.
The operator can set up geo-fencing via the portal to get an alert when a vehicle enters or leaves a particular location. There is also an asset trail available where the operator can see where all of their assets went on the previous day. This can aid them in future rote planning and load allocation avoiding replication of locations.
There is an analytics section of the operator’s portal which Hino is working on opening up further, when it gets feedback from the market, about what information operators need to have on display following this first release.
There will also be developments in the way the data can be fed back to the operator and integrated with their existing management systems.
“We do offer an API (application programming interface) feed out of Hino-Connect,” says Gus. “It does need some customisation to integrate the data with the customer’s existing business systems.”
There are two parts to the hardware in the truck. There is the multimedia unit which has been fitted in Hinos in recent years. Then there is the Hino-Connect unit pulling down the data and interpreting it for the driver and the operator. The whole system has been developed for Hino in Australia, giving the company flexibility and the ability to customise as and when needed.
This hardware has the capacity to handle later iterations of the system and will be able to adapt over time to new requirement form truck buyers. Hino-Connect can be updated over-the-air as time goes on, enabling updates and improvements to develop over the life of the vehicle.
The release of the Hino-Connect system is an illustration of the continuing convergence of systems from the point of view of the truck manufacturers towards those historically offered by third party manufacturers and retrofitted into vehicles. Both have been isolated stand-alone systems, and completely self sufficient and pulling data down from cameras, sensors and the CANbus on the truck.
Now the new systems being built are becoming more able to communicate with other systems. This means there is no need for two or three sets of computing power to be in a truck, one from the manufacturer, one from a third party. Now we can see forward to a time when any component, whether in be an onboard mass monitor, the EBS, or a camera watching the driver, will all be able to communicate via one core unit.