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MyMiX Tracking: An interview with Catherine Lewis, MiX Telematics VP of Technology

How fleets can use app-based tracking

MiX Telematics has released a mobile fleet management solution called MyMiX Tracking. This app is for use by fleets that want to track vehicles that are not necessarily part of their permanent fleet. These types of vehicles include sub-contracted vehicles to meet seasonal demand, rental or leased vehicles and, private and company cars.

We had a chat with Catherine Lewis, MiX Telematics VP of Technology, to discuss app-based tracking and how MyMiX Tracking works.

Q: How does app-based tracking, like MyMiX Tracking, work?

A: The driver installs an app on their phone and the phone is then used as a substitute for a fixed on-board computer. As soon as a driver logs into a tracking app with their unique profile, all positions, trips and specified driving events (including speeding, harsh braking, harsh acceleration, harsh cornering and mobile phone use while driving) are recorded.

 

Q: How are trip starts and trip ends calculated by a phone?

A: Trips will only start when certain criteria are met and the phone recognizes inputs like speed and distance traveled. Also, when vehicles are connected to Android Auto, iOS CarPlay or Bluetooth, the phone will be able to detect ignition and thus start recording the trip.

Trip ends are calculated based on a timeout. Should no movement occur for a certain period of time or a certain number of steps be taken, a trip will automatically end.

 

Q: What data is sent in real-time to fleet headquarters?

A: The driver’s positions are sent when the phone has coverage and include the driver ID of who is logged into the app. When a driver exceed the maximum speed, this information is also sent in real-time and the driver is notified in-cab via the app as the event is occurring so they can self-correct (i.e. reduce their speed).

In addition, the driver is shown road speeds (with the help of HERE mapping data) in real-time so they know not to exceed a certain limit to avoid fines and even potential accidents.

 

Q: What data is not sent in real-time to ?

A: Harsh acceleration, harsh braking, harsh cornering and mobile phone use while driving is only sent to fleet headquarters at the end of a trip. However, the driver is still notified via in-cab alerts should any of these events occur. Events that occur after a trip has automatically ended or the driver has ended the trip by making use of the “not driving” toggle will not be sent to the server.

 

Q: What happens when the driver is in an area with limited or no coverage?

A: Should a phone have no coverage and information cannot be sent in real-time, data around positions, trips and driving events are buffered and sent to headquarters as soon as the phone has coverage again.

 

Q: Does the MyMiX Tracking app still record should it unexpectedly close while the driver is traveling?

A: The app must be up and running for it to record positions, trips and events. Should the app close, all trip and event data is lost for that time period. This is why we encourage that drivers be taught to be aware of their phone’s battery power and to ensure their phone doesn’t have too many other apps running in the background to decrease the likelihood of the app closing.

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