Telekom Austria Group M2M, together with the Upper Austrian telematics expert CEplus, have launched a new winter maintenance solution that can effectively track and record snow-clearing operations via machine-to-machine Communication (M2M) technology.
Information about the exact location or the travelled route of snowploughs can be stored via a cloud solution, which keeps track of where and when snow-clearing and spreading units have been deployed. Snow removal activities can now be recorded at any time.
This solution also allows for location control, tracking and tracing as well as anti-theft protection of snow-clearing vehicles. In case of liability-related issues, service providers can therefore prove that salt-spreading and snow-clearing operations have taken place, effectively documenting the work accomplished by the vehicles.
Bernd Liebscher, managing director Telekom Austria Group M2M, described the advantages of this solution. “We are glad to be able to offer our customers an innovative snow-clearing solution just in time for the beginning of the winter. From now on, the use of snow removal vehicles will be tracked and recorded in real time.
“With this solution, we would like to help, for instance, the municipality of Gries am Brenner (Tyrol), which is particularly affected by snowfall, to keep track and document plowing operations. Moreover, this service, which was jointly developed with our partner CEplus, is not only limited to winter maintenance but can be universally deployed for fleet management thanks to its wide array of possible applications,” said Liebscher.
Gris am Brenner (Tyrol) is the first municipality in Austria to use this service. “We have opted for the winter maintenance service, jointly developed by Telekom Austria Group M2M and CEplus, because it offers everything from a single source, applying to both telematics hardware and sensors as well as well to the software. Service implementation was rapid and uncomplicated. We are now fully equipped for the winter,” said Karl Mühlsteiger, mayor of Gries am Brenner.
The municipality, which comprises roughly 1,300 inhabitants, is located in one of the snowiest regions in Austria and has four snowploughs. Over 50cm of snow per night is not unusual in Gries am Brenner. In such situations, snow removal crews are in continual operation on snow-covered roads with a total length of 50km.
Complete documentation about when, where and how often an area has been cleared of snow by a specific vehicle provides useful information, which can be of crucial importance, particularly in case of legal disputes. Sensors do not only keep track of the travelled route, but also of proper usage of snow blades, thus demonstrating the effectiveness of snow removal operations.
Other sensors record whether salt or grit was spread over the roads and how much salt was used. The collected data is stored for up to seven years and can be accessed by the municipality at any time at the push of a button.
Industry-specific telematics solutions for fleet management
This product is offered to customers within the framework of the ‘Unlock M2M’ partnership between Telekom Austria Group M2M and the Upper Austrian telematics provider CEplus. The joint service portfolio encompasses telematics systems and sensors that can be deployed regardless of the type of vehicle and can be installed without interfering with the vehicle’s electronics.
As a result, these sensors can be quickly and easily installed on both old and new vehicle models. The portfolio also includes a modular, cloud-based software platform that allows customers to freely choose between the wide range of available functionalities via an intuitive and multilingual user interface. Upon request, software adjustments and technical advice are also provided.
The M2M solution offers a wide array of additional functionalities besides the applications described above, which are particularly relevant for fleet management. Based on additional hardware for driver identification and multi-switch systems, this solution can easily switch between business and private mode, allowing companies to comply with the legal provisions regarding drivers’ logbooks, while saving on taxes.
In addition to snowploughs, the service is also available for passenger cars, trucks, construction, agricultural, forestry vehicles and refrigerated freightways. Different devices, sensors and software modules can be flexibly combined to optimally meet customer-specific application requirements on a case-by-case basis.