Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL), enhanced driver/dispatcher communication, and mobile computing improve operations for the Freeway Service Patrol
CALGARY--March 31, 2009
The Bay Area Freeway Service Patrol (FSP), based out of Oakland, CA, has implemented Mentor Engineering’s Mentor Streets® Enterprise mobile fleet management solution in their 90-vehicle fleet. The Streets solution includes comprehensive software applications for Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) with event management and reporting capabilities, as well as Mentor Ranger® rugged, in-vehicle computers.
Operated by three coordinating agencies - Metropolitan Transportation Commission Service Authority for Freeways and Expressways (MTC SAFE), the California Highway Patrol (CHP), and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) - the FSP reduces traffic congestion by providing roadside assistance and towing services, free of charge, to stranded motorists on over 540 miles of the Bay Area’s freeways. Without a way to track their vehicles, it was difficult to ensure the 90 contracted tow trucks were consistently patrolling their beat. The FSP wanted to implement a fleet management system to provide real-time location information for their vehicles as well as enhanced driver/dispatcher communication, on-screen form fills, automated data collection, and in-vehicle navigation.
Since the system’s implementation, the FSP has seen many benefits, the most important of which is the agency’s ability to track drivers in real-time. This provides the FSP with concrete, accurate vehicle activity data to present to their funding partners. Other advantages, such as reduced overhead costs, have also been realized. “Without the mobile computing solution we would have to hire additional people to communicate with the drivers, maintain and analyze paperwork submitted after shifts, and be in the field to make sure the drivers are doing what they are supposed to. We really benefit from having an automated system to perform these tasks,” says Sze Lei Leong, Project Manager for MTC SAFE.
The Mentor solution is not only improving the FSP’s current operation, it is helping to secure the future of the program as well. As Sze Lei explains: “With the data generated from the system, we can see that we are running at about a 3 to 1 benefit to cost ratio, with savings generated from reducing pollution, congestion, accident costs, and, mainly, lost productivity. This data helps us justify the program and ensure that it is here to stay.”
About Mentor Engineering
Mentor Engineering is a 20-year veteran in the manufacturing and deployment of wireless mobile computing and GPS systems. Mentor is distinguished by technical innovation and services including system integration, training, and on-going support. Find out more at: www.mentoreng.com.
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