Soon, the workflow will also include maintenance stops. Thanks to integrations with the truck's engine control module (ECM), the back office can diagnose problems with the truck remotely and let drivers know what to do next.
"The Samsung tablet connects to the ECM and transmits error codes back to us, so when the check-engine light comes on, we can proactively tell the driver what we think the issue is and direct them to a maintenance location.”
MVT is also improving geofencing capabilities at client sites so it can navigate drivers around client properties.
"It always bugged me that we asked the drivers to tell us when they arrived at or left client sites, because we've got devices with GPS and we know our clients' locations," Kelley explains. "Now we have geofences around those locations, so we know when our trucks arrive and leave. Eventually we'll be able to message the driver and say, 'We see you arrived, thank you. Go pick up trailer 18 from the back northeastern corner. Just follow the arrows, and we'll guide you.'"
Drivers also use the tablets for communicating load status, scanning documents to be paid in a timely manner, taking photos of shipments or trucks, and documenting inspections of trucks, most of which they couldn't do with the previous solution. The included S Pen allows for easy form completion, even when wearing gloves. By contrast, the old tablets were hardwired into the trucks to prevent them from being dropped or exposed to the elements, but that's not a concern with Samsung Galaxy Tab Active devices, which are ruggedized to meet military standards.
"I'll never forget my introduction to the Tab Active," says Kelley. "The salesperson showed it to me, and when I reached for it, she tossed it across the room. Any normal tablet would have cracked, but it didn't phase this thing. I knew that's exactly what we needed — devices that could handle all the bumps on the roads and extreme weather."