Geotab announced Nov. 17 it has joined the California Bureau of Automotive Repair’s (BAR) Continuous Testing Program (CTP) pilot, a program designed to help alleviate the effort of in-person Smog Checks for government fleet vehicles in California. Leveraging near real-time engine information processed through Geotab’s telematics device, BAR will receive Smog Check information for government fleet vehicles enrolled in the CTP without the vehicles ever needing to be manually inspected.
Government Fleet spoke with Neil Garrett, associate vice president of business development, government for Geotab, to find out more about how the new program works.
Easing the Path to Results
Government agencies that own and/or operate vehicles in California are subject to Smog Check Program requirements. The law requires every vehicle affected by program requirements be smog tested and the results reported to the Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR).
To help ease this process, BAR’s Continuous Testing Program (CTP) pilot was designed to use telematics technology to retrieve results almost instantaneously. These vehicles will be able to skip Smog Check manual inspections if vehicle data is proven to meet the BAR Smog Check requirements.
“Through Geotab’s membership in BAR’s CTP pilot, eligible vehicles are equipped with Geotab’s GO9 telematics technology and set up in a MyGeotab database. The GO9 device supports the integration with BAR by gathering the necessary information from the vehicle’s OBD-II port and sending that information to MyGeotab. From there, the automotive data is securely sent to BAR to satisfy the vehicle’s Smog Check requirements. The data is processed and a pass or fail mark is determined for each vehicle. If a vehicle requires maintenance, BAR will notify the organization that a Smog Check is necessary. However, if the vehicle data shows it is healthy and requires no maintenance, the vehicle can skip the in-person Smog Check, helping to reduce unnecessary fleet downtime,” Garrett explains.
This program will help ease the effort of in-person Smog Checks by utilizing telematics technology to process engine data information and send it to a secured cloud environment, thus helping to ensure vehicles are running as cleanly and efficiently as possible while reducing unnecessary fleet downtime.
Eligible vehicles are government fleet vehicles subject to Smog Check requirements. These include:
- Smog Checks are required every two years on vehicles more than eight model-years old.
- Smog Checks are also required when selling a vehicle more than four model-years old and when registering an out-of-state vehicle for the first time.
Under California law, every vehicle that meets these program requirements must be smog tested and the results be reported to the California Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR).
Smog Checks can be a challenging task for government fleets, especially if they are large. The Smog Checks themselves can take up to 20 to 30 minutes per vehicle, but the timing it takes to drive vehicles to and from test sites must also be considered.
“In large fleets, this requirement can drain a lot of resources, time, and money. With BAR’s CTP, utilizing telematics to automatically send the engine data to BAR, there is no downtime for the fleet,” says Garrett.
In a time when reducing contact as much as possible is vital to everyone’s health and safety due to COVID-19, this isn’t the only perk.
“Geotab’s participation in BAR’s CTP has been in the works for quite some time and was not driven by COVID-19; however, the reduction of manual inspections results in less in-person contact and can be seen as an added benefit of the program.”