The winners of the 2014 Connected World Awards are:
|Company Logos||Winning Companies
Gold Award in Building Automation
Technology Enablers: RacoWireless, T-Mobile US
We probably instinctively know that energy is one of the top expenses for a small business. It is also one of the least closely managed at those businesses. Perhaps we look for the Energy Star logo on the products we buy to assure that it is energy efficient or conduct an annual survey of the company’s energy usage.
Energy Star statistics show that small facilities consume 50% more energy per square foot than larger facilities, wasting 30% of this excess energy due to inefficiency, and this costs small businesses more than $20 billion a year in excess energy costs. Cellular Machines works to enable a data-driven analytic approach to managing facility infrastructure, typically lowering energy bills by 20%. In addition, the remote analytics enable quick detection and resolution of equipment failure, reducing impact on facility temperatures (and customer satisfaction), and quickly reacting to refrigeration problems and avoiding food spoilage costs.
Small facilities generally do not take advantage of energy-management systems due to cost, complexity, and a lack of available network connectivity. By deploying an M2M solution, Cellular Machines avoids these pitfalls. Its uses M2M services to connect mechanical systems to the cloud, including lighting controls, HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) controls, energy monitoring, and refrigeration monitoring. Users don’t need to have an Internet connection available and don’t have the inconvenience of adding a new system to their network. M2M simplifies the process, speeds deployment, and allows business owners to use automation in facilities that don’t use this technology today.
Silver Award in Building Automation
Technology Enablers: RacoWireless, Telit Wireless Solutions
When Ricardo Montalbán sang to Esther Williams, “Baby it’s cold outside,” he was probably in Chicago in February. Had he known about EnTouch Controls he might have changed that to “Baby it’s cold inside.” There are, after all, many places inside that we want to keep cold, places like walk-in refrigerators in restaurants, medical storage cabinets in hospitals and pharmacies, and specialized greenhouses. To be sure the temperatures are where they should be, sensitive sensors are deployed and monitored. EnTouch Controls designs and manufactures monitoring units that check temperature, humidity, door position, pressure, pH, flow, and other conditions.
One of most popular applications is for small pharmacies where the drugs in storage fridges are monitored continuously. The contents of the fridge can exceed $25,000 and if city power fails, or the door is left open, and the contents defrost, they must be destroyed. A typical food storage freezer can contain $18,000 of food and it must be continually monitored. Since many customers will use their monitors for decades, it added 3G data capability to insure long-term viability. The cloud-server database has now exceeded several millions of transactions, and regular improvements have made response times shorter. A constant program to make installations simple has been maintained. The monitor is programmed at the factory with cellphone numbers to receive user alarms and high/low limits.
Gold Award in Connected Car
Ingolstadt, Bavaria, Germany
Technology Enablers: AT&T, Gemalto NV, RacoWireless
The promise of a fully “connected car” is exciting for many drivers and automakers alike. However, numerous roadblocks have slowed progress on the road to highway connectivity. Think about all the environments where automobiles operate; sensitive wireless technology isn’t cut out to withstand the extreme temperatures, excessive vibration, and humidity experienced on the road.
In addition to the hurdles presented by technology and automotive conditions, today’s cars are increasingly sophisticated and sleek. Any M2M mobility solution must seamlessly integrate into the overall design concept of the vehicle. In short, the technology must be completely inconspicuous.
While the technology is available—the 4G/LTE network for example—adapting it to automotive needs has been sporadic. Last August, however, Audi started producing a truly connected car, offering high-speed, low-latency connectivity, and a suite of advanced services and features that enhance the mobile lifestyle.
Gold Award in Connected Car
Technology Enablers: Jazz Wireless Data, Telit Wireless Solutions, T-Mobile US
While the connected car can help provide safety on the highway, we all want to find ways to increase our safety at home. A monitored alarm system provides individuals with the peace of mind that comes from knowing their home, property, and loved ones are safe. For a long time, such systems were priced out of reach for many people, but SimpliSafe has found a way to change that.
The founders of SimpliSafe believe a home should be a safe space, so why couldn’t it be possible to have a reliable home security system without expensive contracts and the inconvenience of disruptive and costly installation? By using wireless components, SimpliSafe built a more affordable system that can be purchased and installed directly by the user without any costly intermediaries.
The system wirelessly connects to a central emergency dispatch center, without a telephone landline. By connecting various wireless technologies, the company provides an easy-to-install and flexible system. Additional entry sensors or motion sensors can be bought as needed and installed without the expense of professional crews. The system can be enhanced with smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and others sensors that communicate wirelessly back to a base station in the home.
When searching for a cellular provider, it ran into the problem of cost. By working with its chosen provider, the founders were able to tailor an offering that met their needs on the cost side as well as the flexibility to activate and deactivate individual devices as needed.
Gold Award in Concrete Management Systems
West Chester, Ohio
Technology Enablers: RacoWireless
Although the building boom of the early 2000s has been slow to return, construction companies are constantly seeking ways to cut costs, insure quality, and improve technology so they are ready for the next big job. Verifi wants to help. A mainstay in commercial and large-scale construction is concrete, and that means ready mix.
Ready-mixed concrete is batched in a central plant and transported to the jobsite in mixer trucks, with typical transit times of 30-60 minutes. Freshly mixed concrete in the truck is a highly perishable and rapidly changing material. For example, concrete undergoes a series of complex chemical reactions, which causes the fluidity of the concrete—known in the industry as “slump”—to decrease and the temperature to increase. In addition, concrete must be placed in the formwork within a certain time before the slurry begins to harden.
Before Verifi came along, concrete producers had no visibility into what was happening inside the truck during transportation to the jobsite. If the concrete arrived with the wrong properties, it was common for the driver or the contractor pouring the concrete to adjust the load by adding water manually, which reduced the strength of the concrete and delayed construction. As a result, ready-mix concrete producers increased the overdesign of the concrete to ensure the final product met specifications.
Verifi’s system adds visibility and control to this process by measuring, managing, and recording concrete properties in the truck, as well as monitoring truck location and activity. Sensors and controls on the truck measure concrete slump and temperature, then add water and chemical additives to maintain the properties of the concrete within specification. All data is recorded and is available in realtime on any Internet-connected device. This enables the ready-mix concrete company to proactively manage concrete quality and customer service, while also optimizing fleet efficiency.
Gold Award in Construction
Technology Enablers: Intelliwave Technologies
We read a lot about the challenges of developing new energy resources; there are limits to the amount of oil and natural gas that can be pumped out of the ground. One of the options is processing oil from oil sand. Our next winner found a way to improve its development of this resource.
Charged with expanding a major oil sands operation in northern Alberta, Canada, JV Driver Projects faced many challenges to on-time completion of the project and turned to implementation of a number of industry innovations. Alberta is experiencing an acute shortage of skilled construction labor that forces companies to operate with a less than full staff. To overcome multiple barriers, JV Driver Projects created a solution that allows it to leverage technology to successfully complete the project using fewer crew than usual.
Working closely with technology partners, it developed a revolutionary planning software with RFID (radio frequency identification) sensor technology to enable the successful installation of more than 200,000 linear feet of pipe and the facility’s tagged equipment pieces. The project required it to be built in sequence using FIWPs (field installation work packages) that are planned far in advance based on the path of construction. The software loads engineering data—including the 3D model, piping isometrics, and structural steel data—and allows planners to easily create these field installation work packages directly from a model. FIWPs are issued for construction based upon material availability. Therefore, having accurate, realtime material availability data that is visible during management and planning meetings is essential.
This project is the first major scale industrial project integrating sensor technology to automate status visualization updates in a 3D model for a wide variety of material types including pipe spools, structural beams, valves, and tagged equipment to name a few. The benefits are impressive. Overall, the use is estimated at having reduced FIWP planning time by 90% on more than 275 FIWPs.
Gold Award in Consumer Electronics
New York, N.Y.
Technology Enablers: AT&T, Connected Development, Redpine Signals, Telit Wireless Solutions
FiLIP Technologies did its research and found that an important untapped market was wearable tech for children. Not just any technology, but tech helps keep kids safe and parents informed. Although smartwatches have recently taken center stage, these devices merely extend certain functionality from a smartphone to the wrist via Bluetooth.
FiLIP Technologies takes wearable technology to the next level, offering a product that is capable of independent voice and location services without being tethered to a smartphone. For children, this is essential since most parents want to stay in touch with their children yet they’re concerned about the cost of mobile phones and of their kids losing them. Traditional smartphones open up the world of Web surfing, cyber-bullying, sexting, and other activities that are inappropriate for kids.
For these reasons, parents do not want to give their children a smartphone until they reach age 13 or older. FiLIP Technologies’ own research with kids and parents revealed the product had to be cool and colorful, had to be wearable or kids would lose it, and it had to be small.
So, it designed a small device that children want to wear on their wrist—it’s colorful, oversized, rugged, water resistant/splash proof, and has a fun, almost toy-like look to it.
The device brings together the benefits of a mobile phone and a GPS tracker in a colorful, wearable product that puts parents in control via a smartphone app. It is better than GPS because GPS requires line-of-sight to the satellite network, so it has limited accuracy indoors or in large cities where the satellite signal is obscured by tall buildings.
Instead, FiLIP uses cell tower location and Wi-Fi triangulation to supplement the GPS information to more accurately pinpoint location in areas where GPS is limited. Additionally, the cellular technology enables parents and children to communicate using two-way voice.
Gold Award in Energy
Technology Enablers: Clear Blue Technologies, KORE Wireless Group
Many years ago, Kermit the Frog on Sesame Street sang a song, “It’s not easy being Green.” Do you remember when green was a color not a code word for energy efficiency?
Today, being green is a good thing, not something to feel negative about. Tridel thinks green all the time and builds to make it happen.
With green living as a part of the foundation of its development business, Tridel was looking for a way to showcase green, off-grid street lights. They are powered by solar panels and a wind turbine and have built-in M2M, via the cellular network, that provides realtime connectivity to remote-management software for monitoring and control from a PC, tablet, or smartphone. This smart lighting offers independence from the costs of the local electrical grid, eliminates the cost of bringing electrical power to light poles along with monthly utility bills, and the remote-management service slashes the cost of maintenance and troubleshooting. By relying on an independent source of power, they will stay on, even if there is a system wide blackout in the area.
Traditional lighting sources tend to be extremely expensive to install with trenching, cabling, and payment for power for operation. Smart lighting is not only a green solution, but over the life of the installation will have a lower ROI with less expensive installation costs and no ongoing costs for the life of the lights.
These “smart” lights are easy to install and maintain, highly reliable, and are part of a fully integrated system that monitors and controls overall costs.
The entire system can be controlled or adjusted remotely, including charging parameters, temperature compensation, remote testing/troubleshooting, and emergency remote override. Users are able to see the status of each light individually or the entire system on their PC or smartphone, providing full access no matter their location. Light owners can get 24x7 access to this information via a Website.
Silver Award in Energy
Technology Enablers: Mesh Systems, Novatel Wireless, Verizon Wireless
Time waits for no one. Weather happens whether we like it or not. Darkness comes and daylight follows.
If your company depends on having light when it gets dark, and that light has to be reliable outdoor lighting regardless of weather, then you need to meet Intermatic. This is especially true if you are in the outdoor advertising business.
Intermatic created a timed switch that enables outdoor billboard companies to operate their signs from anywhere. The switch features remote cellular connection, power status, and load monitoring, plus seven-day scheduling. With this M2M solution, there is no need for manual checks of the billboards on a weekly basis to see if the lights are on.
The remote-monitoring tool runs on the cellular network to help customers more efficiently monitor those expensive billboards in any type of weather.
It eliminates the standard practice of dispatching a worker to drive by a sign every week to see if it’s working—that can now be managed via a cloud-based platform. A built-in scheduler can turn lights on and off at peak hours.
Fixtures and bulbs that need to be replaced can also be checked more efficiently. Power structures and network redundancies are built in to manage the effects of disasters such as tornadoes and hurricanes so damaged signs are quickly repaired and put back into service.
Intermatic saw that in order to stay a leader in this market it needed to offer a M2M solution to its customers. The product wasn’t adapting well to off-the-shelf systems so it partnered with a technology company to develop a cellular device that would be compatible with the switch. Now, companies can provide their customers a proof of performance on each billboard as well reduce their overall energy cost and eliminate the need for a drive-by to verify everything is working.
Silver Award in Healthcare
Technology Enablers: Verizon Wireless
A major telecommunications company recently launched a program to help patients and physicians manage patients’ health between doctor visits. The full system, created by IDEAL LIFE, allows customers of the system to bridge the communication gap to further improve overall healthcare while significantly reducing healthcare costs.
The glue that holds this project together is what can best be called an ecosystem. A Bluetooth-enabled wireless gateway automatically pairs with all the devices, allowing for quick and easy communication of health readings between remote health-management products.
This use of M2M technology improves overall healthcare while reducing overall healthcare costs for patients, caregivers, and physicians, and has become the single most distributed healthcare M2M product on IDEAL LIFE’s cellular network.
The full ecosystem improves communication between patient and caregiver/physician and has led to as much as a 74% drop in readmission rates for some hospital groups.
Gold Award in Manufacturing
Technology Enablers: 2-Track Solutions, CalAmp
In many industries, technology developed for one niche market might find its way into others. If it works, why not use it? The manufacturing field often takes advantage of products developed for one segment and adapts them to others. Graco developed a mobile resource-management system for the construction and industrial spraying industries that connects industrial sprayers with central operations for better monitoring and utilization of this specialized asset and associated materials.
This solution, from remote-field location to company operations center, required the development of a data communications loop that captured data on sprayer activity. Though most worksites are covered by the cellular network, remote operations can be beyond cellular range. For these instances, Graco developed a “record and download” capability that permits realtime recording of spraying operations in the field with automatic downloading of the recorded data when the sprayer is once again within cellular coverage.
Graco’s technology partner also provided a scalable system that allowed customers to deploy and manage an unlimited number of mobile recording and messaging devices. Thus, the solution works for small contractors as well as large ones, providing valuable tracking and operations data.
Prior to this development, commercial sprayer operators had to rely on manual data entry. These paper logs were inaccurate at best and misleading at worst, with data on spray volume, pressure, and temperature often improperly recorded, or not recorded at all. Inaccurate logs led to inaccurate invoicing and the potential for lost revenue due to undercounting. Graco’s system solves these issues assuring more accurate job reporting and accounting, and a more productive, efficient spraying operation.
Gold Award in Retail
The term “the cloud” has worked its way into our daily conversation regardless of our industry. Everyone wants to be on the cloud. Or in the clouds. Lowe’s sees the cloud as a perfect way to connect with its customers and for their customers to ultimately connect with their homes.
Many existing home-management and automation systems are inflexible and expensive. Security-monitoring systems usually have high monthly fees, long contract tie-ins, and limited scalability. Most solutions cannot be modified by users to fit their unique needs. Home-automation systems use proprietary protocols, limiting the products with which they are compatible.
The Lowe’s solution, however, is an open-standards platform that is both affordable and scaleable. The organization has launched a new range of both products and services aimed at delivering smart-home solutions to make homes safer, more efficient, and easier to manage.
Instead of using expensive, inflexible systems with high monthly third-party monitoring fees and long-term contracts, customers and their selected contacts can receive instant security alerts on their smartphones with details of security events and the ability to control action from their phones.
It brings a new level of safety to the home bound as it will be able to alert caregivers if someone fails to get out of bed in the morning or if they trigger a help alarm.
The key innovation is a low-cost hub that links devices in the home to a cloud platform. Multiple wireless sensors and compatible products can be connected to the hub. The platform then allows the users to monitor and control these devices and delivers services to consumers through the Web and smartphones with an app.
Eventually, everything in a home from a dog door to an electric vehicle charger may be linked to the hub—putting home management at consumers’ fingertips.
Gold Award in Safety and Prevention
Technology Enablers: Gemalto NV, RacoWireless
Ever watch British TV? I don’t mean just Downton Abbey but one of the many police shows that come out of the U.K.? If so, you’ll know that they use a lot of ID cards and badges. Kings III Emergency Communications SoloProtect Division saw the potential for adding safety to the wearers of those badges by using M2M.
The NHS, (England’s National Health Service), sends thousand of employees into people’s homes each year, and our winner’s innovation allows it to summon help anytime it deems that safety might be compromised. A “Yellow Alert” allows it to leave specific information such as the risks that might be encountered, and that information is stored into the system. If an event arises where the employee feels safety is compromised, a Red Alert is indicated, and a connection is made to an Emergency Dispatch Center. The center listens to the call and determines what action is necessary, including using GPS to assess location data to provide assistance.
When workers are required to enter customer residences, there is often an unknown condition, and this system provides added safety. It uses multiple modes of technology, including GPS, data, SMS, and voice, along with a camera option to create a lone-worker platform that is unparalleled in the industry. Now, when employees are forced to work alone, they have the security that if they need assistance, it is just a button push away.
With more than 8,000 911 centers in the U.S., being able to connect the GPS and other information with the proper center is integral to ensuring a correct dispatch. Kings III Emergency Communications SoloProtect Division, working with its software developer, integrated the devices into a complete solution for use here. With automated email and SMS messages, companies can be sure their employees have not inadvertantly ended up in a location that the company had determined to be unsafe.
Gold Award in Security
Technology Enablers: Jazz Wireless Data, T-Mobile US
We expect our police, firefighters, medical emergency personnel, and many others to be wide awake on the job. That same expectation holds for the security guards employed to protect our businesses. The founder of GuardTrax was tired of finding his security officers falling asleep on the job, leaving the site for a midnight snack, or, worse, spending a few hours in front of the TV at their girlfriends’ house. There was no realtime connection between officers and management and, as a result, very few ways to increase accountability among the officers themselves, who tend to be a low-paid, relatively unsophisticated workforce.
By integrating cellular technology into a handheld unit, GuardTrax has been able to automate much of the traditional logging required for security personnel at any given location. Unlike traditional solutions, which require manual logging and sometimes even mechanical data collection, the solution provides realtime location logging and incident reporting to promote accountability among guard staff and confidence among management and customers.
It provides realtime GPS monitoring via wireless data connectivity that allows the user to determine the positions of the officer throughout the day. This is useful in confirming that the officer is patrolling all parts of the property where he is assigned.
Where GPS is not available, indoors, for example, it provides realtime RFID tag location via GSM wireless data connectivity. In addition, it can dial up to five preprogrammed phone numbers and receive incoming calls. The phone capability is designed to be for business-essential and emergency calls only. No more wasted time with officers calling third parties on company time.
Silver Award in Security
New York, N.Y.
Technology Enablers: Micron Electronics, RacoWireless
One of the more ubiquitous M2M technologies is GPS. Global positioning system technology pops up everywhere from your wristwatch to inside your car. It can be used to track the location of equipment, vehicles, and most importantly, your loved ones.
While you can put a pretty large GPS transmitter on a five-year-old truck, keeping track of a five-year-old child requires a small, inconspicuous device that won’t get in the way of play and other activities while providing parents peace of mind. BrickHouse Security developed such a device and, over multiple iterations, refined it to be smaller than a cellphone and provide more reliable tracking with a long battery life. It was specifically designed to address the needs of small business owners, spouses, parents, and anyone else who needs to keep track of what they value most.
The GPS tracking and location-based device market is flooded with choices. It was very important to BrickHouse Security to find the right technology partner willing to customize and work with its in-house product-management team. Many of the devices were tested but did not pass the quality-assurance process and failed to provide the quality this company was demanding.
Finally, after much research, it found partners it could work with that supplied the quality it needed. These partners helped define and customize a GPS-tracking device that met or exceeded requirements. The device was easily configured with the GPS tracking platform, and it performed flawlessly during testing. In the end, the product was more covert, had a one-minute location update sequence as its default setting, and provided three times the accuracy of the previous model. It incorporates a larger battery, without increasing overall size, to enable tracking for up to two weeks, even with the faster update speed.
Gold Award in Utilities
New York, N.Y.
Technology Enablers: Micron Electronics, RacoWireless
When the snow is as high as an elephant’s frozen eye or the sun is on especially high-temperature settings, people don’t want to go outside to do jobs that can be done from inside. Take meter readers, for example. The fast growing market for smart meters is pointing out how M2M can make even this critical job an inside one.
To provide an automated, two-way communications infrastructure for utilities to attain realtime consumption data from their consumers, Aclara uses M2M technology as part of its solution. Aclara’s solution is scalable, offering services to gas and water utilities of all sizes, and delivers secure, accurate, hourly meter data. M2M technology plays a key role in ensuring the meter readings are sent successfully to the control computer for operational analysis and customer service. The connected-device technology fits the flexible model that enables the system to easily scale from four to 4000 data-collection units depending upon the size of the utilities geographical area.
Working with utilities across the country means working with many different communications carriers. Each has a requirement for testing devices on its network and that could be a problem. Aclara’s answer was to team up with a supplier that pre-qualifies its components, making that part of the process faster and easier. Due to the quick turnaround of support by its supplier and by eliminating the serial certification process with the cellular technology providers, Aclara can provide solutions in a timely basis. A typical certification and deployment averaged 3-4 months per carrier, but now this is reduced to less than half that time.
Silver Award in Utilities
Technology Enablers: ClearConnex, Sierra Wireless, T-Mobile US
In most cities, water utility customers are billed for water and sewage at the same volume. Cities assume the volume of water that comes in to the facility is the same as the outflow, and customers are billed accordingly. While this formula may work for residential properties, evaporation in equipment such as cooling towers, large humidifiers, or swimming pools is not considered. This is where Trident Network comes in.
Trident Network developed a network that enables commercial and industrial companies to manage water, gas, and electric consumption through the use of technology and data collection services. Installing its system and monitoring the usage of energy resources helps companies raise their financial and operational efficiency and can help developers achieve LEED certification goals.
Using a rechargeable battery and solar panel charge control when deployed in the field, the system can handle some pretty rough environments. An innovative software engineering firm worked with our winner to enhance its capabilities to include transmitting collected data over the cellular network.
Standalone remote monitoring of rural and metro areas can be easily achieved. The modem can facilitate the collection of standard consumption messages and transmit the data via the wireless network. Benefits include significant long-term savings through an evaporation credit program, lower-energy bills as a result of daily consumption rate monitoring, and the possibility to earn points toward LEED certification.
Gold Award in Car Sharing
Toronto, Ont., Canada
Technology Enablers: Jazz Wireless Data, Telit Wireless Solutions, T-Mobile US
There is a relatively new concept in urban transportation that is starting to catch on in cities like New York and San Francisco called car sharing. It’s outgrowth of car renting but with a twist: no trip to the rental agency. There are car sharing systems where vehicles are left, unattended, in designated areas and, after making a reservation, a qualified driver can walk up, pop the door, and drive away. Imagine the inventory control problems inherent in such a system. That’s indeed what Metavera Solutions did.
Its platform uses M2M technology to allow unattended car sharing by integrating in-vehicle technology with the car-sharing system, enabling the sharing of vehicles. The in-vehicle M2M technology delivers realtime data about vehicle usage, location, and status, while securely controlling access and use of these vehicles to card-holding members. M2M technology is also used to remotely assist customers if they have lost or misplaced their access card. The impact of M2M is that it reduces the cost and increases the cash flow, enabling the rental companies to grow.
The data collected from in-vehicle technology allows operators to optimize the number and location of shared vehicles based on actual usage. This allows maximum revenue per vehicle. Car-share customers are able to find, access, drive, and pay for vehicles only when needed, avoiding the overhead of car ownership. In peer-to-peer settings, vehicle owners can effectively have their cars pay their own maintenance bills by receiving payments for loaning the vehicle when not in use.
By offering its products as SaaS (software-as-a-service), Metavera Solutions manages the architecture, installation, training, and maintenance. But the most important return on this technology is its impact on sustainability. The company’s vision is a more sustainable world and its core purpose is to make it possible through collaboration and innovation within the sharing economy.
Gold Award in Fleet Management
Toronto, Ont., Canada
Technology Enablers: Jazz Wireless Data, Telit Wireless Solutions, T-Mobile US
Large fleet owners are always looking for ways to cut costs and maintain tight control over inventory. A truck on the road can make the company money; one in service is costing money; one lost in a storage yard is losing money—rapidly. Rand McNally is providing a way to help those fleet managers know everything they need to know about their equipment’s status.
The solution is a system that consists of a display device installed on the dashboard of the truck and a single cable that connects to the truck’s on-board computing systems.
Through the truck’s on-board computer, the system is able to obtain a variety of data. For example, number of gallons of fuel consumed, miles per gallon, when the truck is idling, driving habits and driver safety data, and any fault codes triggered by the engine indicating there is something mechanically wrong with the truck.
In addition to the diagnostics information, the system utilizes GPS to detect the current location, and then computes the vehicle’s time to the next stop on the trip. This information is sent in near realtime to a data center. The fleet user/owner can see a report showing critical metrics such as fleet-wide mileage, engine idle percentage, or speeding percentage. The system provides flexible reporting, which allows the fleet user/owner to measure the efficiency of the equipment, and also the efficiency of its drivers.
There is benefit for the fleet industry. A trucking company that generates $40-$50 million a year in revenue could save up to $1-$2 million per year if they implement all the solution’s features.
Gold Award in GPS
Technology Enablers: CalAmp
Coming off one of the worst winters on record for snow and cold—at least I hope we are coming off it—those of us who live “up North” have been reacquainted with “cold-car syndrome.” You know the one, where you go out to start the car and have to scrape the ice, shovel the snow away from the door, hope the battery is alive enough to let you use the remote entry button—because you know the lock is frozen—and then slip behind the icy cold wheel on the icy cold seat while you hope that the engine will start.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have an app on your phone that would start your car for you while you grab another cup of hot coffee? Directed provides that solution. Directed has a mobile-phone application that allows consumers to remotely start vehicles from any location and perform a variety of other functions, such as lock or unlock doors, open the trunk, cool or heat the vehicle interior, and more. Just a push of a button on the user’s smartphone initiates the action from anywhere, freeing consumers up from key fobs or other limited-range activation devices.
Connectivity is managed through Directed’s cloud services network linking car, app, and consumer. The solution consists of an onboard controller unit, cellular communications device, a free downloadable mobile phone app, and Web portals for installers and the consumer.
You can even receive alerts if the vehicle is moved, speeding, or beyond redefined areas by the user. Multiple vehicles can be controlled from a single phone and, with the optional GPS (global positioning system) module, consumers can locate vehicles and access other features such as speed alert, geo-fence alerts, movement alerts, and more. With Siri integration, customers can even use voice commands to remotely start vehicles or to lock or unlock doors.
Silver Award in GPS
Technology Enablers: Davis Instruments, RacoWireless
First Alarm is a company that self-insures its vehicle fleet. Company policy is designed to make everyone involved aware of and striving for complete safety in all they do. Fleet management is a critical part of its safety program to assure vehicles are properly maintained and safe on the road. To help with this program, First Alarm applied technology that has provided $1 million in savings through reduced fuel usage, safer driving with few accidents, few insurance claims, and a decrease in its insurance premiums.
Its installation and maintenance vehicles were using two different non-integrated technologies to track vehicle location and driver behavior. It wanted to combine the GPS and safety application into one realtime technology by using a miniature computer with built-in GPS and the cellular network to transmit realtime data from the vehicle’s OBD-II (on-board diagnostics) port. The data is then cloud-based, so the fleet performance can be monitored and accessed in any of the company’s office locations or remotely.
Driving parameters, such as speeding and hard decelerations, are stored on the device and when exceeded, trigger an onboard alarm to remind the driver to change behavior. First Alarm can customize who gets what alarm, and more than one person can get any particular notification. If a driver exceeds the 65 mph speed limit, an alert is sent not only to the safety officer, but to the owner and president of the company. When this happens, the president calls the driver to find out why he was speeding.
Having the realtime data has allowed the company to address safety concerns immediately and lets drivers know that First Alarm is serious about its safety.
An unexpected benefit was identifying and reducing idle time. By decreasing fleet idle time, it expects to realize up to $20,000 per month in fuel savings.
Silver Award in GPS
Colorado Springs, Colo.
Technology Enablers: CalAmp, Verizon Wireless
While we think of “fleet management” as the realm of large truck fleets, one of the most important “fleets” is very small, usually just one or two vehicles. Yes, I mean our own fleet of cars or trucks at home. And like the manager of that big trucking company, we want to know the status and condition of our fleet at all times. Especially if we have teenagers!
Tag N Go provides an innovative telematics service designed to improve driver safety. It delivers instant driving behavior information to any smartphone, tablet, or PC and features a sensitive GPS for reliable location and tracking data, multiple cellular standards for strong mobile communications, and triple-axis motion sensing for detecting aggressive driving maneuvers, such as rapid acceleration, sudden braking, and hard cornering.
The unit is quickly and easily installed and uses the vehicle’s OBD-II (on-board diagnostics) data bus interface to provide direct access to vehicle information and fault codes that help determine location and operational characteristics. Vehicle location and driving performance data is transmitted at one-to-10 second intervals via the cellular network to servers where trip histories are compiled, driving scores are calculated, and alerts and reports are generated. The servers also house digital street maps and road segment speed limit data.
The unit calculates a driving score for every trip and provides detailed information on where and how to improve driving safety. Engaging social media tools, realtime location tracking, and the ability to analyze past trips makes it more user friendly, and therefore useful. The system even shares live trips with the driver’s family and friends via email, Facebook, or Twitter, so others know where they are and their anticipated arrival.
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens. In 2010, seven teens ages 16-19 died every day from motor vehicle injuries. Per mile driven, teen drivers ages 16 to 19 are three times more likely than drivers aged 20 and older to be in a fatal crash. Tag N Go’s system can help change the way family members drive, help parents monitor and coach good driving habits, and provide an extra measure of connection, safety, security, and peace of mind in our mobile world.
Gold Award in Location-Based Services
Technology Enablers: Clever Devices, Source, Sprint
Remember that movie, “Dude, where’s my car?”
The title of the film became a standard of popular culture at the time of its release back in 2000. Knowing where something is when you need it is very important, especially if that thing is your transportation. Well, County Connection can help you if you ask, “Dude, where’s my bus?”
In one part of the country, riders can monitor bus activity with realtime tracking. A rider can select his or her bus route and see when the next bus will arrive. Riders can also see realtime bus locations on a map and receive arrival and service alerts via text message. These are just a few of the benefits being offered by County Connection.
County Connection developed the service through a relationship with its technology partners, one of which provides bus-tracker applications including arrival times and bus location, allows track data to be sent by text message, provides service alerts, and Wi-Fi on select buses.
Its M2M provider provides connectivity. As a result of its enhanced capabilities, administrators expect increased usage by the 500,000-plus residents in its service area. This includes a large number of customers who are active wireless users. About 20% of the current ridership consists of students attending commuter colleges in the area.
With 125 buses currently carrying more than 3.2 million passengers a year, our winner expects increased rider satisfaction. Its partners developed a solution for all 125 buses that provides high speed, reliable connectivity for its riders.
Teams worked to install this Wi-Fi solution in all buses with no disruption to route service.
Gold Award in Parking
San Carlos, Calif.
Technology Enablers: Streetline
One of the factors that made the automobile successful was the freedom of mobility, being able to go when and where you wanted. The reality today, in many parts of the country, is that you are free to go but can’t find a place to park when you get there.
A lack of available parking affects a wide range of people including merchants and motorists. City of San Carlos addressed that problem when it teamed up with two technology partners to install a smart-parking system in the main downtown corridor of its city. It used embedded wireless sensors in the pavement of parking spaces to detect the presence of a vehicle via a light sensor and a magnetometer. Smart routers communicate with the sensors to aggregate data and communicate with a cloud-based data center to deliver a suite of applications.
Motorists access the data through a mobile-guidance application available for iOS and Android. Merchants can also gain benefits through an embeddable map widget that they can place on their Websites to show available parking near their store. The app uses the business’s location as the center of a hub and displays the realtime on-street parking space information in a clickable and easy to install map.
In addition, the sensor data powers an analytics tool, which enables the city to view both realtime and historical parking trends. With the analytics, combined with reports the team provides on a bi-weekly basis, the city is able to better understand parking trends and optimize space utilization through policy changes.
The mobile-guidance application not only provides motorists with where to find available parking but also houses important policy information. Motorists have a time limit and rate information at their fingertips in order to more easily comply with the city’s parking policy. As a result, cities can see an increase in meter revenue through an increase in compliance.
Gold Award in Remote Diagnostics
Rock Hill, S.C.
Technology Enablers: Connected Development
Car and truck tires have come a long way since 1903 when the first tubeless tire was invented. In fact, that concept wasn’t even adopted for automobile use until 1954. From about 1911 until then, tires used inner tubes and were, to be blunt, not very reliable.
One major problem was air pressure. Tires like a certain pressure to run cool and straight. Monitoring that pressure so it stays in the right range was a manual job using a small gauge to check the air. Automatic TPMS (tire pressure monitoring systems) were introduced in this country by General Motors on the 1997 Corvette in conjunction with Goodyear run flat tires.
The system uses sensors in the wheels and a driver display, which can show tire pressure on any wheel, plus warnings for both high and low pressure. It has been standard on Corvettes ever since. By 2008, all new light trucks and cars sold in the U.S. have pressure-monitoring systems.
What about those big trucks driving down the same roads at the same speed that we are? For commercial-fleet owners, maintaining records of periodic tire inspections is mandated by government regulation; drivers are required to perform an inspection on their truck before each haul. Drivers and fleet owners can be cited for failure to maintain these records.
But proper inspection of an 18-wheel truck can take up to 30 minutes to perform with a typical manual tire pressure gauge. The time consuming nature of the inspections can lead to non-compliance and safety issues.
Innovative Global Systems has developed a tool that automates the tire inspection process using a variety of wireless technologies. It facilitates rapid measurements, cutting the inspection process to a fraction of the time previously required. The tool incorporates short range wireless to communicate with devices embedded within the vehicles tires—if they have TPMS—to perform accurate pressure measurements while a NFC (near-field communications) reader reads tags attached to tires, for inventory and proper pressure information.
Wi-Fi communications upload measurements to a cloud storage facility. If the tires don’t have embedded pressure sensors, the operator can use the tool to gather each tire’s pressure manually using a mechanical pressure measurement attachment.
Silver Award in Remote Diagnostics
Technology Enablers: Verizon Wireless
Someone once counted and found, in the average family sedan, more than 50 separate computers controlling things like the in-car hi-fi display, the ABS anti-locking brakes, the air bags, the air conditioning, and even the door locks.
And this is before you take in account any back-seat entertainment systems or satellite navigation gadgets. The car you drive probably has more computing power than the system that guided the Apollo Moon Landing flight.
Delphi Automotive working with its partner, developed a device that allows car owners to remotely control, monitor, and track a vehicle in realtime via a smartphone, tablet, or computer. It’s a small plug-in device that is compatible with more than 99% of the vehicles sold since the 1996 model year. Vehicle data is automatically updated without the driver having to do anything.
Some features can be accessed at any time and from anywhere including a locater, locking or unlocking, car start, delivery of vehicle-health notifications, and geo-fencing. A trip map allows users to see the route the vehicle took, as well as the start and end points. In addition to the common circular geo-fence, rectangular geo-fences can be created for improved vehicle monitoring.
You can block unauthorized use of the app with a PIN. Other phones, such as a teenager’s, can be logged out remotely.
You can also use the app on your smartphone to monitor your vehicle’s health and set up customized email and text message notifications. You can even use your smartphone to mimic the basic functions of your manufacturer–issued key fob like locking and unlocking doors, opening the trunk, and starting your vehicle.
Silver Award in Remote Diagnostics
Technology Enablers: AT&T, Zonar Systems
We’ve talked about tracking the location of vehicles with M2M and GPS and getting data from the onboard computers in modern cars and trucks. Detroit - A Daimler Group Brand takes this a step further by using telematics to look inside the engine itself.
Detroit - A Daimler Group Brand identified a need to help fleet customers reduce vehicle downtime and turned to a telematics provider to develop a remote-monitoring system to streamline engine diagnostics and repair scheduling. It developed a high-definition GPS/engine monitoring system that provides a data snapshot before and after engine fault code events. The data transmits immediately to a database for a diagnosis of the event, resolution, and notification of available service repair facilities.
This process alerts the driver to the problem severity and coordinates with the repair facility for scheduling and parts availability if requested. Previously, drivers were notified of vehicle problems by the check engine light, and the driver had to find a repair facility and schedule diagnostic service to evaluate the problem.
Now, data from the vehicle, including fault codes, fuel use, odometer, GPS location, vehicle speeds, and onboard events allow diagnosis of the issue instantly, locate repair facilities with parts available, and schedule service as the customer arrives. If they want, customers can view the data through a Web-based, fleet-management application allowing them to easily manage fuel efficiency, idle times, speeds, vehicle locations, fuel tax reporting, preventive maintenance, and other trip reporting functions.
Detroit - A Daimler Group Brand provides customers with realtime engine diagnosis, not just fault code reporting, by using the recorded log file and the engine fault code to determine actual diagnosis and repair solution all while the truck is still operating.
Gold Award in Remote Monitoring
Technology Enablers: Davis Instruments, RacoWireless
Agriculture: without it, we’d all be on very strict diets—whatever we can find on our own to eat. But human consumption isn’t the only purpose of farming; a lot of grain is grown for animals, for example. Grass is grown for lawns.
And in many parts of the world, decaying vegetation, peat moss, is farmed for energy. Most modern peat bogs formed in high latitudes after the retreat of the glaciers at the end of the last ice age some 12,000 years ago. In Finland, for instance, roughly 90% of peat production is used for energy. Peat provides approximately 6.2% of Finland’s annual energy production. With the peat farming industry so important to the overall economy of Finland, the country makes an effort to assist the farmers and its customers while protecting the environment.
Each peat farm in Finland must have an environmental license and a weather logging system to monitor and document various weather elements, including wind and rain. Previously farmers used weather instruments, which were periodically monitored or monitored onsite during peat harvest and loading. With regulations becoming stricter, realtime data became essential to managing the environmental footprint.
Having remote weather information in realtime is essential for bioenergy companies to manage their environmental footprint. The new remote-monitoring technology at peat farms provides Web-based weather reporting and information access away from the farm.
Realtime alerts sent directly to peat-farm managers and the transportation system save companies money; they are able to adjust harvesting and transport schedules based on current wind and rain data before personnel has been deployed. Also, providing the access to the information reconfirms the company’s commitment to transparency.
Silver Award in Remote Monitoring
Technology Enablers: PTC
There are few industries that go back thousands of years. Agriculture would be one and mining would be another. The idea of digging resources from the ground is common to both, but agriculture is mostly above ground while mining puts people below ground to do their jobs. Today, mining is done with heavy equipment and machines that replace human muscle. And with technology to keep it all running smoothly.
Joy Global is leveraging technology in a variety of applications. In one, it is collecting data from its existing mining equipment—approximately 1,000 machines—with output of 1,000 realtime data points collected at sub-second intervals. Previously, this process was too complex and yielded very unstable results. Now, it can capture field-level data that was once unavailable, providing greater visibility into the complex coal mining processes.
At its mine sites, a device is running on the equipment, allowing each mine to collect and send large data volumes back to the data center during off hours for more efficient management of network bandwidth. Joy Global’s old business process required people to work through the instability of collecting the mass volume of data and resulted in an inability to do field level analytics. Technology now stabilizes the data collection process while providing the ability to innovate into new applications for its customers.