The challenges of IVMS in the Outback


Part of managing a dynamic IVMS implementation is the vendor’s ability to communicate with the IVMS device via 3G/4G. Setting can be changed “over the air” i.e. by communication directly with the device configuration via the SIM card. Top-end IVMS devices for instance run scripts that will enforce driving rules. A driver may get an audible warning at 105 km/h if the speed limit is 110 km/h, and a long, loud beep once they exceed the speed limit by more than the tolerable allowance. All of these IVMS parameters can be changed: company safety standards change and the IVMS units change with them.


What if the vehicle never comes into mobile phone coverage?


This is challenging indeed. If a settings error is made then it literally requires the vehicle to be driven into coverage so that the IVMS unit can be sent its new settings. What if the vehicle is not public road worthy, or maybe 200 km from the nearest 3G/4G tower? This may well mean that a technician needs to be sent to the vehicle, the IVMS unit removed, then taken into coverage from where the settings can be changed. This is both costly and highly inconvenient but there is simply no other why.


Another challenge of IVMS in the Outback is this: satellite communication is expensive. What should be sent, what not? What is important, what can be ignored? These are not easy questions to answer. The more cost savings become important the less functional the IVMS installation becomes. In an ideal world every single observation like ignition on/ off, seatbelt, driver if, harsh driving, speeding, geozone entrance and duress button would all be relayed back to base, but this easily becomes cost prohibitive.


IVMS manufacturers also expect units to be brought into mobile phone coverage, at least now and then. If a vehicle never comes into coverage this could pose some technical challenges, as some IVMS incidents may not be relay-able via satellite, in which case the installer may have to do a work-around of sorts.


Does this mean IVMS cannot work in the Outback? Absolutely not, it is just more challenging, as the vendor may need to “bend” the product to do what is needed. This is exactly what makes Digicore stand out from other IVMS suppliers: when we think of IVMS hardware we think of Meccano, there to be put together, there to configure and change until it does exactly what our customers want. As-is out-of-the-box is simply not something we find challenging enough!