Thalwil, Switzerland–based u‑blox today announced the StarLink TrackerWi‑Fi, an advanced vehicle tracking device produced by ERM Advanced Telematics, a provider of device-based telematics solutions. The device combines u-blox GNSS, 4G and Wi-Fi Technology eliminating the need to equip vehicles with a separate mobile Wi‑Fi hotspot. The StartLink TrackerWi‑Fi has wide-ranging solutions for applications in connected car, telematics and vehicle diagnostic, fleet management, vehicle security, usage-based insurance, and rental and leasing service companies.
“We saw an opportunity to provide more values to our customers by adding Wi‑Fi hot spot functionality to our StarLink Tracker, our leading telematics product, but knew that we had to be quick to stay ahead of the game,” says Kfir Lavi, Senior Vice President of ERM Advanced Telematics. “Our partners are always at the top of our priorities, and we are working to adapt our offerings to the market demands and the changing needs of their customers. Working with u‑blox as the provider of the positioning and wireless communication technology helped us move from concept to commercialization in under six months and provide our partners with an advanced product in a short time.”
The Internet of Things (IoT) and connected car initiatives are transforming vehicular fleet management, providing rental car companies and transportation and logistics firms with tools to track vehicles, preemptively detect and diagnose disturbances from a distance, and monitor the behavior of their drivers in real-time. ERM already has more than 1.8 million vehicle fleet tracking devices deployed on roads world-wide.
As onboard Wi‑Fi becomes increasingly wide-spread, many companies are fitting vehicles with Wi‑Fi hotspots to offer drivers and passengers Internet access. With its integrated Wi‑Fi hotspot, ERM’s StarLink TrackerWi‑Fi makes it easier by letting users tap into the cellular 4G connectivity it draws on to transfer telematics data back to the fleet manager. Not only does this make it possible to send real-time telematics data to the driver’s smart device or onboard infotainment system, it also reduces the number of SIM cards needed from one per device to one per vehicle.
Sourcing the GNSS tracking, cellular 4G LTE, and Wi‑Fi technology from u-blox played a key role in achieving the device’s fast time-to-market. By using u‑blox’s pre-tested positioning and communications modules with integrated software, the manufacturer was able to cut the time needed for production and development by several months.
“This successful collaboration demonstrates that we have evolved from a provider of individual technologies, namely GNSS positioning, cellular 4G connectivity, or short range radio communication, to a provider of solutions that bundle these technologies,” says Thomas Seiler, CEO of u-blox. “We are seeing increased demand for such bundled solutions and are convinced that the close integration of our technology portfolio offers our customers the unique ability to jump-start even challenging projects on extremely short notice.”