Business challenge of a Fortune 500 company
Our client, a Fortune 500 company and one of the world’s largest automotive corporations, wanted to explore the potential of IoT technologies in the light commercial vehicles segment. Following a consistent path towards intelligent connectivity, they had a vision for a new, fully connected, integrated system linking vehicles and fleet managers via car-to-cloud communication. This solution was supposed to benefit courier delivery services, car leasing companies, logistics teams, and other commercial and government organizations operating vehicle fleets.
To realize this idea and speed up time-to-market for their product, our client signed a partnership agreement with a German software development company. But after about a year of active development, it became clear that the project timetable wouldn’t be met due to major issues in the frontend and mobile parts of the application. That’s when they contacted Intellias to quickly scale their development capacity and bring IoT to the fleet management industry.
Intellias has become part of a distributed Scrum team, developing a solution for fleet management in close cooperation with our client and an innovative German partner. We brought on board senior and lead engineers to address our client’s challenging development needs.
To align all four sub-teams engaged in the production process, our client holds quarterly on-site workshops for exchanging knowledge, sharing achievements and goals, gaining insights from other teams, and discussing burning issues. Our experts also participate in regular architecture talks to consult and decide on necessary changes to the application so it meets current requirements.
Two teams housed at Intellias implement native iOS and Android apps as well as the Angular frontend of this fleet management solution for automotive. We’ve integrated maps, geolocation services, and POIs. We also provide UI/UX design for dashboards that provide data visualization and custom rendering.
One of our partner’s teams designs in-vehicle hardware connected to the CAN bus to collect information from various electronic control units. This team also works on the interface that provides two-way communication between the vehicle and the cloud via cellular networks.
Our partner’s second team implements the backend, written in .NET and hosted on Microsoft Azure. The backend solution is a modular application responsible for telemetry aggregation and managing data transfers between the cloud server and fleet vehicles. It also features an API that exposes telemetry and processed data to the frontend.
Our client’s fleet management solution for automotive is an innovative connectivity package that covers the transportation and logistics needs of its users. It captures data from vehicles either through in-car embedded devices or data collection adapters. With all data interactions occurring through Microsoft’s .NET platform, data is synchronized and transmitted to the database for storage and to the frontend for visualization.
Intellias teams are implementing mechanisms that allow fleet managers to:
- display real-time maps, POI search results, and precise geolocations
- specify geofencing areas on maps to control fleet movements
- maintain a full overview of fleet resources and the status of individual vehicles
- monitor vehicles’ technical parameters
- increase fleet efficiency and optimize navigation with real-time route and point-of-interest information
- assign drivers to vehicles based on comprehensive profiling
- dynamically optimize routes and work hours
- analyze fuel efficiency and consumption during trips and take actions to manage it
- control a vehicle remotely – for example to start the engine or turn on the autonomous heater from a distance
- obtain and display immediate notifications from a vehicle about locked/unlocked doors, vehicle movement, geofencing zone violations, and more
- improve communication between fleet managers, vehicles, and drivers
- reduce paperwork by replacing physical logbooks with a digital log and automated route tracking, with individual postprocessing options
- plan export transportation and regular passenger transfers
- optimize maintenance planning
- specify a precondition – for example, set the time for charging an electric vehicle or adjust the temperature of an air conditioner
- receive real-time data updates through web sockets
Our partnership started with a team of three and has now grown to eight experienced engineers (from middle to lead). We’ve reinforced the implementation of our client’s product and helped them bring to market a comprehensive connected fleet management application that’s now available in over 20 Western European and North American countries.
Our client’s solution has recently gone into production, and we are now testing it on a real fleet of 1,000 vehicles. Our team is also supporting the platform and consulting on migrating it to the brand-new Angular 8.1.
The fleet management system we’re developing has already proved instrumental in locating stolen vehicles. In-car sensors can determine when a vehicle has been stolen and send notifications to the system, which tracks the vehicle’s current position and marks it on the map. With the help of the system’s theft warning notification feature, one of our end user’s trucks was recently found soon after it was stolen.
Here are the benefits that businesses get with our client’s solution:
- Cost efficiency through optimized fuel consumption and planning of preventive maintenance schedules and checklists
- Increased productivity by controlling routes, processes, delivery time, expenses, and more
- Fraud prevention thanks to geofencing, actual mileage tracking, and fuel tank level control
- Legal compliance through monitoring of compliance with driving and rest time regulations
- Ecological awareness and reduced CO2 emissions by managing driving style