The purpose of the tachograph download is to save the manual work of collecting the tachograph data and the information stored on the driver cards. The automatic download improves quality and reduces complexity, especially in a large-scale fleet. The tachograph integration makes it possible to control that the drivers log into the tachograph. It is also possible to make the log-in a pre-requisite to be able to start the vehicle. This reduces the cost of driving without being logged into the tachograph.
Manual vs Automatic
The traditional way to collect the tachograph information is to physically go into the bus and connect a hardware memory, for example a memory stick, and then to transfer the info into the computer used for the analysis. The process is very time consuming, especially in large fleets.
An automatic cloud-based transfer of data from the vehicle directly into the analysis program increases the frequency of data collection to a level that is more relevant to the business. It enables a much more active use of the information in daily operations. The same goes for the information available on the driver cards. Instead of having to access the card info with a special hardware/reader, the info is collected directly through the tachograph. When the card is inserted into the tachograph, the download is initiated, provided that the time since last download exceeds a preset time limit.
The prerequisites for tachograph automatic download to work is;
- The system needs to gain access to the tachograph. The standard solution for this is integration with the digital tachograph using the CAN interface. Using this interface authentication and download of the data using the onboard Vehicle Gateway will be performed.
- A company card is required for authentication towards the tachograph and to enable remote download. The company card is placed in the Back office and can be reused for a set of vehicles. The Vehicle Gateway communicates over the air with the company card to authenticate towards the digital tachograph.
When a setup like this is in place automatic downloads can then be transferred via mobile data. A pliable solution can be to expose the standard DDD-files using an API, or Rest API, to the tachograph analysis software or to other systems.
Another benefit, beside the time saving of automatic download, is the possibility to retrieve login information from the tachograph using the CAN integration interface. This information can be used and distributed to onboard systems, which can use it to tag information with the driver ID onboard the vehicle.
Below are some bullet points for how the download could be set up.
Automatically download tachograph data – vehicle
- After a configurable time has elapsed since last download the system will automatically initiate a new download of tachograph data.
- When the file is successfully downloaded it can be sent to a configurable external system.
- When a file is successfully downloaded any alarm associated with tachograph data for the vehicle should be cleared.
Automatically download tachograph – users
- Upon driver login, if a configurable amount of time has elapsed since last download a new download is initiated.
- When the file is successfully downloaded it should be sent to a configurable external system.
Failure to download vehicle tachograph data raises an alarm
- After a configurable time has elapsed and the system has not been able to download tachograph data from a vehicle, a warning should be raised in the back-office interface.
- After a configurable time has elapsed and the system has not been able to download tachograph data from a vehicle, an alarm should be raised in back-office interface.
- The alarm should be displayed in the back-office portal and handled the same way as any other alarm in the portal. (subscriptions, actions etc)
- Together with the alarm, information about last successful download, last try and next download should be available in the back-office interface.
The Tachograph builds its information based on the driving times of the vehicle in combination with input from the driver.
All in all, the tachograph download saves a great deal of time and increases efficiency for all bus operations, but especially the large fleet operations. It isn’t enough to generate the information. It needs to be retrieved and used. Some areas of use aren’t possible without an automated download, because you need the information more frequent and at an earlier stage, than you can get with manual tachograph download provides. Do you think automatic downloads would save time and improve regulation compliance for your company? Please comment and give your thoughts.