Truckers and IoT SystemsNovember 27, 2017
Internet of Things (IoT) technology is the vast network of devices connected to the internet. Many trucks are fitted with IoT technology to measure their fuel efficiency and economy. Lately, weather events—like the large number of destructive hurricanes this year—have made headlines. Truckers are now looking at how their IoT systems can help them avoid trucking accidents caused by natural disasters and dangerous road conditions.
Homes and other high-risk areas prone to weather disasters are now being fitted with disaster-ready precautions. To begin assessing the IoT architecture of a tracking device, there are a few things that can help.
Hardened Plastic Enclosures
Having hardened plastic enclosures around tracking devices can protect them from all types of elements. Although many drivers use metal enclosures, plastics are typically better as metal can be prone to electrical shocks that will short out the device or disrupt signals. Plastics will provide protection against things like salt-fog and vibration damage.
It is important to evaluate battery life to ensure that batteries will be able to maintain full functionality without power. Devices should be capable of “gracefully degrading” over time. This means a device should be able to transition from full power to a power saving mode when the battery’s reserves begin to be depleted.
It is essential to ensure that products are MIL-810-G and IP-69K certified. Although many devices are tested to withstand vibration, shock, wind, high temperatures, dust, dirt, mud, ice and snow, some devices fail the first time they are put to the test. Ensuring that devices have the proper certifications will save truckers from too much downtime and lost assets. Sensors should be certified as well.
It is important to have consistent network connectivity. Many people debate whether satellite or cellular infrastructure is superior. Using a multi-channel approach is the best option for continuous, unbroken connections. There are some devices that can incorporate multiple channels, using the most cost-effective available network appropriate for each transmission.
The downside to using this type of design is that the hardware is twice as expensive as either one of the single-channel approaches. Data should ideally be transmitted to a single platform. When using a multi-channel approach, each device needs both a cellular and satellite modem, as well as two antennae. It also involves payment of two monthly service charges.
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