GPS / Telematics

Off-Road Telematics Data Standard In Development

March 21, 2014

Photo via iStockphoto.com/VM
Photo via iStockphoto.com/VM

Two industry associations representing equipment fleet managers and heavy equipment manufacturers have agreed on a defined set of asset data that can be sent to the equipment end user via telematics, they have announced.

For fleet managers, this move could mean the end of signing into numerous equipment manufacturer sites to get telematics data. Instead, all the standardized data could be exported to a single fleet maintenance software system.

The Association of Equipment Management Professionals (AEMP) and the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) have announced that 19 data points will be part of a standard being developed and maintained by the two associations and their memberships.

The AEM has 938 member companies, while the AEMP represents equipment managers and has more than two dozen manufacturers in its associate membership. The new standard also defines a format that enables OEMs to deliver fault code information as part of the data feed.

Telematics information for off-road fleets has been separated by manufacturer, meaning each manufacturer captures and stores its own data. Since many fleets contain a mix of equipment from various OEMs, analyzing the telematics data for an entire fleet is often a laborious exercise.

"If a fleet manager wanted to track fuel usage, he has to go to the Caterpillar site, the John Deere site, the Volvo site, etc., and literally either cut and paste or import into a spreadsheet and combine them," Stan Orr, president of the AEMP, told Government Fleet. "What the standard does is create an interface with data coming off the manufacturer's site. It translates it to a common language so that now it can go to a governmental fleet's enterprise system."

The 19 standardized data points are an expansion of the AEMP's original six standards developed in 2008. The new data points are: serial number, asset ID, hours, location, GPS distance traveled, machine odometer, fuel consumption, fault codes, idle time, fuel level, engine running status, switch input events, PTO hours, average load factor, max speed, ambient air temperature, load counts, payload totals, and active regen hours. Telematics data related to crane operations are excluded from the agreement.

Data will be provided to the end user via an application program interface (API) server-to-server data sharing standard. The data sharing standard will include standardized server-to-server communication protocols for the transfer of telematics information in mixed equipment fleets to fleet management system. This will allow fleet manager to more easily collect and analyze data from mixed equipment fleets.

Orr said he expects the technical group of end users and OEMs to release a beta version of the standard in the next few weeks, and he hopes to see it finalized by the end of the year. These standards are optional for manufacturers, but the AEMP and AEM are working to ensure that the groups they represent have say in developing and revising the standards to secure widespread adoption.

This wider standard is just the first step. A joint AEMP/AEM developer group will work together on industry-wide integration of the standard, future versions, and introduction dates. Another task force will be brought together to set the data transfer/conversion security plans, and a governance group will also be assembled.

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