With its E-Smart technology, Montreal-based Transtex offers transportation and trucking companies an intelligent, preventive tool that ensures the safety of their employees and vehicles, while providing them with substantial savings.
Over the past 10 years in North America, accidents involving large commercial trucks have increased by 40%, with subsequent increases in injuries by 60%, property damage by 35% and road fatalities by 20%. As such, it’s of little surprise that safety is more than ever a major issue in the transport industry.
That’s why, earlier this year, Transtex launched E-Smart, an active technology for intelligent speed management based on real-time positioning and geolocation. Thanks to an integrated GPS, E-Smart prevents truck drivers from significantly accelerating past the posted speed limit in any given location.
“When a driver steps on the gas, that sends a voltage signal to the on-board computer, increasing his speed,” explains Sylvain Charbonneau, Chief Financial Officer of Transtex. “Our mechanism picks up the voltage signal and the system constantly checks whether the speed which that voltage would allow remains within the permitted limits. If not, E-Smart overrides the signal and prevents acceleration beyond the allowed speed.”
Prevention and intervention
E-Smart therefore goes much further than passive systems, which simply indicate to the trucker that they have reached a critical speed, while sending an email reporting the violation to the fleet manager. E-Smart actually prevents speeding proactively within a fraction of a second, thus reducing the risk of accidents.
“When the manager of a fleet of 3,000 trucks receives several e-mails simultaneously warning him that dozens of his drivers are breaking the rules of the road in different parts of the Americas, he cannot act in real time to correct the behaviour of his offending drivers. With this inherent inability to act with passive systems, a U.S. carrier has already had to pay a $1.5 million fine when negligence was proven in court. E-Smart eliminates such scenarios by neutralizing any excessive speed in a given territory.”
Efficient everywhere, at all times
Also, the tool offers “geofencing”, a feature that creates a geographical fence that allows you to electronically define a specific perimeter, such as a loading dock area, and to set a speed limit. For example, when a truck equipped with an E-Smart device enters a geofenced area with a speed limit of 10 km/h, the driver cannot exceed this preset speed.
Another advantage of E-Smart is that it provides its users with fuel savings, as it can adjust the vehicle's power according to its load. Thus, depending on the weight of the truck, this feature detects whether it is loaded or empty. If loaded, the system will instruct the engine to deliver full power; it will accordingly reduce engine power when it detects there is no load. This simple action will generate considerable savings in fuel, and therefore money. “This might not seem like much,” says Sylvain Charbonneau, “but when you multiply it by several thousand trucks for the same operator, the amount saved in the end is considerable.”
Transtex offers its E-Smart technology at an attractive cost for truck fleets. “Our goal is to sell 10,000 units in the first year,” says Sylvain Charbonneau. Already, the American carrier Western Express has decided to equip 3,000 of its 3,800 vehicles with the tool.
How PME MTL made a difference for Transtex
“I had dealt with PME MTL in my previous job. I did not hesitate to call on their specialists to help get financing needed for the development of external markets and innovation. In terms of advice, PME MTL is always a valuable partner when you need to structure a request for financial assistance.”
Why did Sylvain Charbonneau choose Montreal as a base for E-Smart?
“A technology like E-Smart requires a workforce specialized in electrical engineering and computer programming. In Montreal, we have a large pool of experts in these fields. This allowed us to develop an innovative, avant-garde system with a team of about twenty people.”