Digital Tachograph Communicates with Smartphones
- The new DTCO SmartLink and the VDO Driver app turn smartphones into an interface between the driver, tachograph and fleet manager.
Villingen-Schwenningen, December 11, 2012. Smartphones have long since become the constant companion of many a long-distance truck driver on the road, supplying reliable information via the Internet and providing a means of communication with the fleet headquarters. Now, with the new DTCO SmartLink and the VDO Driver app, drivers can use their smartphones to access digital tachographs. To do this, DTCO SmartLink establishes a direct connection via Bluetooth between the tachograph and the driver’s smartphone.
All the driver has to do is plug DTCO SmartLink into the interface on the front of the DTCO. As soon as a connection is established with the smartphone, it can be used as a remote control for the tachograph. Once VDO Driver app is activated, drivers can then carry out operations on the tachograph conveniently via their own smartphone. But this interplay between the two devices offers even greater advantages: Drivers can also have their driving and rest times displayed on the smartphones in easy-to-read graphics. To do this, the app uses the data from the VDO Counter that is implemented in DTCOs version 2.0a and higher. VDO Counter calculates the remaining driving and rest times in real time and outputs them directly to the DCTO 2.0 screen, or to the smartphone using DTCO SmartLink and the VDO Driver app. Drivers can then see at a glance how long they have left to drive, or when they can stop resting.
The smartphone display has a user-friendly design that makes it easy for drivers to plan their breaks. Other functions in the VDO Driver app include a calendar display that outputs driver information to the smartphone when the driver card is inserted. Moreover, VDO TIS Web customers can take advantage of the TIS Web Fleet app: This has the same functions as the VDO Driver app but with an additional messaging service. It provides a quick and simple means for drivers and fleet managers to communicate and at the same time access VDO TIS Web fleet management data. DTCO SmartLink is compatible with all DTCO versions from series R1.3. With DTCO version 2.0a and higher, users have access to VDO Counter data. The VDO apps are available for smartphones running on Android; a similar app for iPhones will be available later.
Dr. Michael Ruf, Head of Commercial Vehicles & Aftermarket at Continental: “With DTCO SmartLink and our app solutions, we are adding one more element to our vision of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS). We provide the means for efficient driving by delivering a maximum of information about the vehicle, and for permanent data-sharing between drivers and fleet headquarters.”