NAVTEQ map data helps Celtrak monitor speeds and build bespoke speed zones
MapMechanics supports expansion of premium performance-focused tracking system
NAVTEQ digital mapping and road speed limit data supplied by UK-based mapping and logistics software specialist MapMechanics have become key components in the fast-growing range of driver performance and safety products offered by Celtrak, an international telematics and GPS vehicle tracking company based in Ireland.
Not only does the NAVTEQ data help Celtrak to monitor the speeds at which vehicles are driven; the company now also has the ability to create bespoke speed zones for specific customers. If, for instance, an organisation is running outsized vehicles, or operating in environmentally sensitive locations, Celtrak can apply custom speed limits in the affected areas, and check whether drivers are observing them.
Celtrak is also expanding its long-standing presence in the United States. It has set up its own office in Chicago, Illinois, and is developing its range of vehicle tracking, driver behaviour and performance products for the American market. It has already licensed NAVTEQ Speed Limits data for the USA from MapMechanics in anticipation of further developments here.
By using NAVTEQ Speed Limits data in its Driverite monitoring system, Celtrak is able to cross-reference the GPS-based tracking information captured from vehicles in real time with the posted speed limits for each segment of road travelled.
Analysis of the GPS vehicle tracking data is used to help vehicle operators monitor the way their drivers perform, and encourage them to drive more economically and safely. As a result, employers can reduce risk, demonstrate compliance to customers, reduce insurance costs, and in many cases also improve fuel consumption and reduce maintenance costs.
“Driverite is a premium product,” explains Celtrak data specialist Gary Corless. “For instance, we fit an accelerometer and gyroscope to measure issues such as harsh acceleration and braking, as well as the core GPS tracking unit.”
Celtrak is using NAVTEQ Premium Streets and NAVTEQ Speed Limits data for both the UK and Ireland. The vector Streets data includes separate fields for detail such as street names, and allows the map coordinates captured by a vehicle’s on-board GPS unit to be positioned accurately on a map. The speed attributes contained in the Speed Limits data allow the speed for that section of road to be checked against the limit in force there.
Celtrak places particular emphasis on the range and depth of the analysis that can be done on the captured data. “For instance, operators can sub-group their vehicles by depot or type, and monitor trends for them,” explains Gary Corless. “We find the system works best if we gather data by week or month, not just by day. Then the operator can build up an ongoing picture of each driver’s behaviour.”
Unusually, drivers themselves can also make use of the system. They can be given their own login, and can drill down to see how they performed on individual journeys in terms of braking, speed and other elements.
Repeated instances of excess speed or other poor driving at specific locations is aggregated, and can be used by the system to generate “heat maps”. These use graphical devices to indicate the prevalence of an event by means of size, colour or layout. “It might show drivers that there’s a risk of taking a particular roundabout too fast,” Gary Corless says.
At depot or regional level, safety managers can check their drivers against corporate norms, and take action where required. The Celtrak approach is to encourage a full programme of training and remedial action to ensure that the data is used effectively. Celtrak has developed its bespoke speed zone system by creating an extra layer within the NAVTEQ map data to contain speed limits that are applied by individual customers.
“As an example,” Gary Corless says, “we supplied a GPS vehicle tracking system to a construction company that was required by the county council to apply special speed limits to its construction traffic when its vehicles were using the public roads between its sites. It also had to limit vehicles right down to 10km per hour on its own sites.
“Another requirement was to limit the time of day construction vehicles were allowed to leave the site. To handle this, virtual geofences were created around the sites, so that automatic alerts and reports could be created, showing the times all traffic entered and exited.”
Gary Corless is enthusiastic about MapMechanics, the supplier of the NAVTEQ data. “They are very efficient and open,” he says, “and they’re great when it comes to bouncing ideas around. They’re also responsive when we require something more out of the ordinary. For instance, recently we needed road mapping for Saudi Arabia, and they were able to come up with exactly what we wanted.”
Celtrak (www.celtrak.com) was one of the pioneers of vehicle telematics in Europe, and dates back to the 1990s. The company now supplies a wide range of GPS vehicle tracking, fuel management and fleet management products in more than 30 countries worldwide. Its customer base spans many sectors including utilities, logistics and transport, public sector and insurance, and it serves businesses of all sizes. For over ten years Celtrak has also been a preferred supplier of telematics equipment and software to the refrigeration specialist Thermo King Corporation, a unit of Ingersoll Rand.