Device enables next-generation “connected car apps” to address distracted driving, improve fleet vehicle fuel management and performance.
Applus, the global leader in automotive emissions and diagnostic testing solutions, announced today that its wireless vehicle telematics device, the A+ Tracker, has earned certification for use over the Sprint wireless network.
Sprint is the first wireless carrier to enable the device on its network.
The A+ Tracker is a simple, self-installed after-market device that integrates a comprehensive set of “connected car apps” appealing to multiple industries, including corporate fleet, insurance and consumer electronics. It monitors driver and vehicle activities and can be programmed to flag anything from a teen’s distracted driving to a taxi driver’s excessive speeding. Clients have the option to receive real-time alerts or be notified if the driver overrides the device.
The A+ Tracker enables connected car apps to pinpoint location, detect motion, and even alert about vehicle collisions by using advanced GPS and accelerometer technology. This type of functionality is ideal for applications, for example, that send alerts to clients when a driver has ventured outside of a pre-determined “geo fence” or accelerated too quickly around a corner. It also enables fleet management applications that allow fleet operators concerned about fuel consumption to better monitor driver behavior and develop more targeted driver policies based on the data.
Transmitting information via Sprint’s wireless network to a cloud-based server managed by the client, A+ Tracker captures and transmits data across more than 70 critical vehicle and driver-performance statistics such as vehicle speed, fuel use, hard braking and emissions performance.
Enterprise clients and application developers can customize the A+ Tracker to fit their diverse needs using a host of business and consumer apps that wirelessly connect the car to vehicle data services. These applications include:
- Distracted Driving: Corporations and parents alike can benefit from utilizing the A+ Tracker to help modify employee or teen distracted driving behavior; reduce crashes; and cut risk and liability by enforcing safety rules for texting and calling while driving.
- Fleet Management: Fleet operators can use the A+ Tracker to monitor and optimize driving routes as well as vehicle maintenance needs. This helps fleet managers cut emissions, lower operating costs and comply with local and federal regulations.
- Insurance Safe-Driver Discounts: Customers who install the A+ Tracker may earn safe-driver discounts based on their monitored driving behavior.
- Roadside Assistance: The A+ Tracker can enable fleet or personal vehicles to call for help themselves when emergency service and support is required, reducing wait times and cutting the time it takes to put vehicles back into service.
“Through A+ Tracker, Sprint is taking a bold leap toward transforming virtually any vehicle into a connected car,” said Tom Springer, Chief Executive Officer for Applus Technologies.
“Now, millions of drivers can access a robust set of capabilities to improve safety, lower operating costs and even reduce their carbon footprint in a safe, secure and economical way.”
“For those wanting the ability to better track and manage a fleet of vehicles or to improve fuel economy, this new A+ Tracker is a great addition to our machine-to-machine (M2M) device portfolio,” said Wayne Ward, Sprint vice president-Emerging Solutions.
“This compact, innovative OBDII (on-board diagnostic) device offers our ecosystem and enterprise customers the ability to incorporate plug-and-play easy installation into fleet management or usage-based insurance applications at an affordable price point.”
“Application developers and enterprise customers who want to take advantage of this easy-to-install feature can tap into our extensive M2M ecosystem, where they can choose from a broad selection of applications and expertise to support their specific objectives. Sprint’s open approach to expanding the M2M ecosystem includes flexible and robust networks, and the proven ability to execute solutions.”
Applus provides APIs for developers and designed the A+ Tracker to work on an open platform. Clients benefit from a host of easily created third-party applications that integrate the A+ Tracker into legacy technology infrastructure, or that expand the device’s functionality in ways not yet imagined. The A+ Tracker is built on Qualcomm’s next-generation IEM module, and includes a Vehicle Information Platform (VIP), which is fully configurable, flexible and can be updated wirelessly. The A+ Tracker VIP allows users to determine what data is received from each vehicle; adjust polling and transmission intervals; and set real-time and customizable alerts. The A+ Tracker VIP can also be expanded to support multiple apps simultaneously, enhancing user benefits and improving client’s return on investment.
The technology used in the A+ Tracker emerged from more than a decade of experience by Applus in vehicle OBD and the more than 17 million vehicle tests Applus performs worldwide each year.
The A+ Tracker is compatible with more than 99 percent of vehicles sold in the United States since 1996. Its unique form factor does not require any external antennas or connectors and is automatically activated when a user plugs the device into the OBD port, which is easily accessible under a vehicle’s dashboard.