Bus Industry News, Charging Infrastructure, Technology

Consat Telematics lauds Swiss army knife of systems

Consat Telematics’s development of smart systems for public transport include fleet management, traffic management, zero-emissions vehicle and charger management, Push To Communicate and passenger information systems for a large number of customers worldwide. All of this is being put together on Consat’s new diverse web application.

When Consat Telematics managing director Lachlan Mackay sits down with Australia’s bus and coach operators to discuss Consat’s wide range of telematics systems, there’s plenty to discuss.

From fleet management to passenger information systems, Consat has a growing suite of solutions for the local market. Yet it’s Consat’s Fleet Studio web application that Mackay finds comes in handy more often than not with Australian operators.

“Operators often ask us what our Fleet Studio technology can do,” Mackay told ABC.

“I often answer with a question of my own – ‘what are your pain points?’ and we quickly can determine how we can help them out with Fleet Studio.”

It may not be one of Consat Telematics’s most common applications for the bus and coach industry, but Fleet Studio is quickly proving itself as Consat’s ‘swiss army knife’ of solutions for the sector.

Consat Telematics’s Fleet Studio is a web application built from the ground up for transport operators to manage public transport fleets.

The application can be used on a control centre desktop, a workshop tablet or on a mobile phone to provide an easy use for operators constantly on the move.

Mackay says Fleet Studio provides a host of functions and solutions to meet an operator’s needs, ranging from real time tell-tale alarms, route tracking and on time running data to electric bus energy consumption information and control of electric bus chargers at the tap of a finger.

“Fleet Studio provides key information that a public transport operator needs in their daily operations,” Mackay says.

“This includes practical information such as the vehicle’s use, wear, consumption and faults.

“Consat Telematics’s connected vehicles enable bus operators to constantly monitor all of this information remotely in real time. It also provides historical data for them, such as alarms from the past hour, day or month.”

To a member of the bus and coach industry, there may seem like there is an abundance of new telematics software hitting the market. So what makes Consat’s newly developed Fleet Studio web application different?

Mackay says Fleet Studio is incredibly powerful because it can combine with the onboard hardware of a bus to replace many systems, giving operators more value for money compared to running numerous devices that take up precious space.

Recent customer business cases have proven this point, with customers saving money while using the web application.

RELATED ARTICLE: Consat continues revolutionising passenger systems

“A positive return on investment is very attractive,” Mackay says.

“Customers may initially want a certain Consat system, but with Fleet Studio they will get a wide range of solutions from the one application that can significantly lower costs.”

It’s this diverse range of applications and capabilities that makes Fleet Studio such an exciting release for Consat Telematics and Mackay. He says Fleet Studio’s ability to provide fleet and traffic management alongside driver behaviour monitoring and CCTV alarm integration makes it an attractive package for customers.

“Customers quickly realise that with Fleet Studio they also get other features, such as driver behaviour monitoring and electric charger control, all within the same system,” Mackay says.

“This reduces the number of systems required on a bus, both on and off-board.”

This range of technology within the one web application pays off for Consat when it comes to finding interested operators in the Australian market. Mackay says many different members of the local sector benefit from the Fleet Studio solution, including operations and control centres, fleet managers, workshop staff, drivers, contract managers and other managers.

After realising the beauty of Consat’s new ‘swiss army knife’, Mackay says Consat Telematics has invested in further developing the application with a dedicated research and development team that is led by Torbjörn Bäckström, the architect of the system. Torbjörn is supported by the product owner at Consat Telematics, Amir Skangic, who has witnessed Consat solve many problems already with Fleet Studio.

With the shift to zero-emissions buses, Skangic says Consat has soon found new electric bus functionality has a problem that existed with old diesel buses; bus manufacturers are often reluctant to provide real-time information on the vehicle’s drivetrains, which is essential for good monitoring.

“But with the transition to electric buses, requirements are increasingly being imposed for things like charging management, which opens up opportunities for us,” Skangic told ABC.

“The chargers give us data on how much the buses charge each time and, of course, we know where they drive. This enables us to calculate their energy consumption, regardless of how much information the bus manufacturer chooses to share with external systems.”

 Lachlan Mackay

Despite its name, Mackay assures the industry that Fleet Studio is a very flexible application. He says there are currently plans brewing to add several more functions to Fleet Studio, including online traffic management updates that will benefit Australian operators by allowing them to access a bus’s data on a phone during emergency situations.

Consat’s current focus for Fleet Studio has been to make it manage both diesel and zero-emissions buses in the same app. Mackay says the app is able to handle electric buses, including bus charging, by enabling the calculation of energy consumption for the buses because the application knows the vehicle’s mileage and receives data from the chargers when the bus is charged.

The application can also record data on driving style, how often and for how long the doors open and if the vehicle has something broken, among many other functions. Mackay is excited by Fleet Studio’s ability to collect many kinds of data depending on the customer’s wishes.

The changes have already started to roll out onto Consat Telematics’s versatile web application for vehicle management. The Driver Coaching report in Fleet Studio is a relatively new feature that provides timely information for both drivers and managers.

The result is two essential metrics in energy consumption and passenger comfort. Mackay says these values are linked; for example, if a bus drives with harsh breaking or cornering, the vehicle not only consumes more energy (and increases wear on the road and vehicle), but passenger comfort lowers. This is where additions to Fleet Studio can really make a difference for Mackay and his team at Consat Telematics as its ‘swiss army knife’ continues to impress.

“Driver Coaching demonstrates the underlying goals Consat has for Fleet Studio,” Mackay says.

“The most important values should be easy to understand for the intended customers, as drivers should be able to log in and analyse their runs by themselves.

“Fleet Studio is the result of a committed and highly competent team and has become a global success with many operators and transport authorities around the world.”

  1. Australian Truck Radio Listen Live
Send this to a friend