What is a Fleet Management System?

Fleet Management refers to hardware, software, and connectivity solutions used by fleet supervisors, dispatchers, and management personnel for efficiently managing a pool of vehicles. Fleet management software displays the locations of vehicles on a map and provides a history of vehicle activity.

What is Asset/Trailer Tracking?

Asset Tracking/Trailer Tracking refers to hardware, software, and connectivity solutions used for efficiently managing assets such as trailers, frac tanks, roll-off boxes, construction equipment, etc. Asset management software displays the locations of various assets on a map and provides a history of asset activity.

How is Asset Tracking different from Fleet Management?

The difference is primarily in the hardware. For fleet management the hardware used for sending vehicle position is typically wired to the vehicle and derives its power from the vehicle battery. With asset tracking, because the asset does not usually carry its own power source, the hardware is powered by built-in long-life batteries. They also differ in the frequency of position updates. Fleet Management solutions provide updates at shorter intervals – every 30 sec, 2 min, etc. – and asset tracking solutions update at longer intervals such as every hour, few hours, or daily.

What is Remote Monitoring?

Remote monitoring refers to using wireless systems for sending engine or equipment sensor data back to a website. Typical sensor data may include location, temperature, pressure, level, flow, and other parameters. Remote monitoring systems may be stationary or mobile.

What is AVL and how does it work?

AVL stands for Automatic Vehicle Location. It combines a GPS receiver and a wireless radio to provide vehicle location to a dispatcher. The AVL unit is usually installed inside a vehicle. The GPS receiver in the AVL unit receives GPS signals continually and computes the current position of the vehicle. The wireless transmitter contained in the AVL unit uses cellular, satellite, or other wireless data communication method to periodically transmit the location of the vehicle (obtained by the GPS receiver) to a network operations center (NOC). From the NOC, the data typically travels to the desktop computer of a fleet operations manager/dispatcher. The position data transmitted by the AVL unit is combined with mapping and other data and laid out in a manner suitable for fleet management decision making.

Can you explain the difference between terms such as M2M, IoT, Telematics, and Connected Device?

These terms loosely refer to systems that send data wirelessly from the field to a central server.

M2M means machine-to-machine and typically implies wireless communication between a remote sensor (machine#1) and a central server (Machine#2).

IoT stands for Internet of Things and again refers to various distributed sensors sending small amounts of data and leveraging Internet connectivity in some way. IoT may refer to sensors used in consumer space (home automation, wearable sensor, etc. ) or industrial sensors (flow, pressure, temperature, etc.).

Telematics refers to the combining of wireless and Internet technologies to enhance the management and functioning of automobiles.

Items within any of these schemes may be referred to as connected devices. Basically a connected device combines its own local capabilities, measurements, etc., with a connected ecosystem (information available on a website, information from other deployed sensors, etc.) to provide enhanced functionality and user experience.

What is GPS?

GPS stands for Global Positioning System. It consists of a constellation of 24 operational satellites (and a few spares) orbiting the earth, owned and operated by the US Department of Defense. A GPS receiver receives signals from GPS Satellites and by tuning into signals from three or more satellites, it can compute its precise position on earth (latitude & longitude) and other parameters such as time-of-day, speed, and direction.

How accurate is GPS?

GPS signals available to civilian GPS receivers can be used to compute position to within 2.5 meters (8 feet) most of the time. However, the precision of the GPS signals is sometimes intentionally diluted in certain sensitive areas based on national security needs. And while GPS signals are available all over the world, the receivers require signals from three or more satellites. This means that an antenna connected to the GPS receiver should be placed with a reasonably clear view of the sky. GPS reception may be inconsistent in certain locations or under certain conditions such as:


  • indoors
  • parking garages
  • under heavy foliage
  • urban canyons
  • near tall buildings
  • extreme weather conditions


What is the difference between Fleetilla's GPS solutions and car-mounted GPS navigation systems?

Dash-mounted GPS Navigation Systems simply have a GPS receiver and some mapping software. They do not report the vehicle location in real-time to a central dispatcher but are used simply for assisting in navigation.

What about Galileo, Glonas, QZSS, GAGAN, Beidou, WAAS, IRNSS, etc. ? How are they related to GPS?

Some of these are systems similar to GPS and are either operational, being built, or in planning stages. These would include Galileo (Europe), Glonas (Russia), QZSS (Japan), Beidou (China) and IRNSS (India). Others are augmentation systems that enhance the accuracy and other details of GPS for aircraft and other navigation purposes. WASS (USA), EGNOS (Europe), MSAS(Japan) and GAGAN(India) are among such systems.

What do terms such as GSM, GPRS, 1xRTT, UMTS/HSPA, CDMA, LTE, etc. mean?

These are various standards that cellular carriers use to wirelessly connect cell phones and other devices to their towers. Relatively speaking, GSM/GPRS is older and slower technology compared to UMTS/HSPA and LTE. Essentially all of these are considered 'wide area' wireless technologies as the devices that use these technologies can move over a large region (all over the country or internationally) while remaining connected to a central network.

What about 2G, 3G, 4G, etc. ?

These terms are loosely used to indicate the speed of a wireless cellular network. 3G is faster than 2G and 4G is faster than 3G. They do not refer to a specific technology (such as UMTS or LTE).

What about terms such as LEO and GEO ?

LEO indicates a low-earth orbiting satellite and GEO indicates a geostationary satellite. Both types are used for sending and receiving data.

What about Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and BLE?

These are considered short-range wireless technologies for connecting devices to an access point typically located in the same building. BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) is a version of Bluetooth technology that can be used to send small amounts of data from long-life battery-powered systems.

How about J1708, J1939, OBDII, etc. ?

These are interfaces and protocols that connect various electronic subsystems (ECU, dashboard, etc.) in cars, trucks, or construction equipment. Specifically J1708 and J1939 are used in diesel engine vehicles for subsystem communication. OBDII is used for obtaining diagnostic information.

Do Fleetilla's systems provide data in real-time? What happens when the vehicle goes out of coverage?

All of Fleetilla's products provide data in real-time (as it happens) or near real-time, meaning that each position update is sent by the hardware unit as soon as that update is due. Occasionally, there are situations where the data cannot be transmitted in real-time due to coverage problems. Fleetilla's Intelligent Coverage Sensing™ technology provides maximum 'real-timeliness' of data while ensuring minimum data loss. When a Fleetilla AVL unit moves in an area with no or poor cellular coverage, the periodic position updates are stored within the device. As soon as the unit moves back into a good coverage area, these stored updates are transmitted by the AVL unit.

Do Fleetilla's systems use satellites?

All of our hardware systems incorporate GPS receivers of some kind. In that sense they all use satellites. However, while some systems use satellites for communicating position data back to headquarters, others use terrestrial cellular networks. Fleetilla has products that can be configured for cellular only, satellite only, or dual-mode (cellular+satellite) data transmission technologies.

What is meant by 'Cloud-based' ?

From a consumer standpoint, a Cloud-based system requires no local installation of software. All the data is stored and backed up remotely, and the user simply logs in by web browser and uses the solution. Beyond this, Cloud-based systems have capabilities that are not readily obvious to the end customer:


  • ability to scale massively
  • ability to scale on demand
  • global redundancy


To fully leverage these capabilities, the system must be designed from the ground up.

Aren’t all websites 'Cloud-based'?

The term is used loosely and will often refer to systems that lack essential 'cloud' features. Many websites are typically served from a single location, and may or may not be scalable on demand. So while they provide the benefits of a no-local-software model, other features may be missing.

What do you mean when you say Fleetilla is an 'end-to-end' solutions provider?

Telematics/connected-device solutions encompass a chain of subsystems: hardware and sensors that are integrated with the remote asset/vehicle; wireless schemes to send data; servers to connect to these; and applications to interpret and present data to the customer.

These solutions typically fail at the interfaces between the subsystems. For example, a report meant for management may provide wrong information if the underlying sensors do not collect data accurately or the wireless schemes lose data on the way. To diagnose such issues, experience is necessary across many levels (hardware, installation, vehicle electronics, wireless carrier, cloud hosting). Many providers are either hardware manufacturers or software providers. Fleetilla fills both roles, and this depth of expertise allows us to provide an end-to-end, seamlessly connected solution.


Questions?   Contact or call Fleetilla at 734-995-5100