Tracker Road Quality Service
Smart and safer road choices
Tracker is data, – how we collect it, process it and turn it into knowledge is something that forms an integral part of our DNA. Numbers form an important part of the internal dialogue at Tracker. Having recently reached the impressive milestone of one million active subscriptions, recording over 2.9 billion trips in our database, having tracked vehicles for over 42 billion kilometres and processing around 37 million messages into our database via sensor transactions on a daily basis, it’s easy to see why numbers play a critical role in our business.
Over the last 3 years Tracker has collaborated with specialists from the Civil Engineering Department in the Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology at the University of Pretoria to identify new ways to deliver added value to our customers. The key focus of the project is examining the quality of roads with the aim of understanding if the rich feed of sensor data from the installed Tracker telematics devices can be effectively utilised to determine the quality of roads across South Africa and even abroad.
“The findings from the research programme have been positive and Tracker is currently in the process of creating a unique offering for customers. The Tracker Road Quality Service will offer accurate road quality information in real time to consumers, businesses and the public sector,” said Carel Wessels, Chief Technology Officer at Tracker, who has been intimately involved with the project since inception.
Professor Wynand Steyn, Head of the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Pretoria described the research as ground-breaking and believes that it has the potential to disrupt traditional approaches in the industry. “This research definitely has the potential to make a huge contribution to industries that offer certain services in the road transport arena.”
Michael du Preez, Executive for Product Innovation and Marketing at Tracker said, “Tracker is confident that the Tracker Road Condition Service will improve road safety and comfort for all road users. This service will not only inform customers about the condition of a specific road, but also warn customers timeously about potential road hazards like potholes and other road anomalies. Tracker plans to use this information to enhance its route planning feature to recommend alternative routes for customers that intend travelling unfamiliar or potentially hazardous routes with their loved ones.”
Du Preez is confident that the Tracker Road Condition Service will offer significant benefits to transport enterprises, specifically those that focus on transporting sensitive goods and products, where Tracker can again recommend alternative routes to prevent damage to fragile cargo while at the same time making a positive impact on the cost of maintaining the vehicles.
Du Preez believes that the Tracker Road Condition Service will also benefit road agencies and other road authorities that are responsible for maintaining our road infrastructure as they will now have access to more frequent updates on road conditions across the South Africa road network and can utilise this input for more effective planning and scheduling of road maintenance. This will indirectly benefit all road users from both a safety and convenience point of view.
Tracker has a global patent application pending on this product and has engaged with the relevant partners on the commercialisation of the Tracker Road Condition Service. It is envisaged that the first version of the service will be released in the first quarter of 2017.