Product Insight: DriveTab

Delivering an in-cab device that makes drivers’ lives easier has been behind the development of our 7” Android-based DriveTab device.

The Microlise DriveTab is a ruggedised touch screen driver communications tablet which is ideally suited to third party logistics operators and transport service providers with a large number of trunking operations, bulk deliveries or palletised distribution.

The device is designed to be fixed in the cab, yet portable when needed, acting as the main interface for driver communication, navigation and feedback.  It can be set to automatically recognises Driver ID via a wireless connection to the digital tachograph reader.

Featuring text and voice communications, trip sheet, integrated satellite navigation, task management and unique driving style coaching and debrief functionality, journeys can be planned from the transport office and effectively carried out.

Whilst some transport operators are using consumer smartphones, there is still a requirement to provide rugged but cost effective Android devices to run Microlise applications. Here’s why.

Simple, Effective Communication
The Microlise DriveTab has voice communications allowing drivers to use the phone to dial fixed numbers which are either permanently stored in the device or downloaded as part of a trip.

Safe communication is of course a priority and DriveTab is “locked down”, only allowing the driver access to the applications and functions on the device which they are required to use, when they need to use it.

When the vehicle is moving, it is possible to prevent the driver from interacting with the device by locking the screen. It is also possible to configure the device to auto reject phone calls, auto hang up or auto enable the speaker on the device or a Bluetooth connected hands free or headset.

Task management helps ensure that crucial information is captured during the driver’s shift or journey. Tasks could include vehicle inspection, health and safety checks or customer questionnaires, all configured within the system by the customer according to requirements. Site tasks, like product installation or packaging removal; or return to depot activities like mileage capture, can also be added.

Intuitive Navigation
As DriveTab is a 7” colour tablet, the integrated satellite navigation provides a great user experience to the driver. Satellite navigation can be launched to get directions for any site on the route downloaded to the device.

It is also possible to configure the device to auto depart / arrive at depots / sites using the geofence coordinates and GPS on the device. Auto departure will automatically launch the SatNav for the next site on the journey and auto arrival can be set to ask for confirmation of arrival when it thinks the vehicle has arrived on site.

Co-pilot 9 software from ALK is installed on the device helping to ensure vehicles are only sent on routes they can safely navigate. Customers can also plan routes in the transport office using third party route planning software and forward waypoints to the DriveTab to ensure route adherence.  Active traffic can also be included to help avoid traffic jams and other road blocks.

Driver Feedback and Performance
The DriveTab offers the ability to provide visual as well as audible warning / recorded notifications to the driver whenever an infringement is about to occur or has actually occurred. The Microlise telematics device monitors in real time whether infringements are being committed.

Real-time warning notifications are only available for categories where the driver is given time to change the way they are driving the vehicle. All categories generate warning notifications except for Harsh Braking where incidents are being recorded as and when they happen.

The Driver Performance Management application provides drivers with an overview of their driving performance, based on telematics data gathered from tracking units fitted in the vehicle. It uses the safe and economical A to G concepts and monitors drivers on up to 26 categories. This is intended for review later once a journey has been completed.

Hassle Free Set-Up
Where fitted, communications between a Microlise telematics unit and DriveTab are facilitated via Bluetooth communications meaning wiring and installation is simple.

As previously mentioned, where a Microlise telematics unit is installed, the driver can automatically log-on via the digital tachograph unit, negating the need for manual log-on. Where a customer simply wants tracking, DriveTab offers this built-in – without the need for a telematics unit.

Summary
The DriveTab is one of the in-cab hardware options for Microlise customers which helps to provide effective safe communication, boost driver performance and help with the provision of an automated seamless journey management solution. As a Microlise product, it integrates perfectly with other Microlise products and is cost effective, configurable and scalable.

Find Out More About DriveTab

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