Fleet Logistics Software Making Speedy Advances: LandSonar and Telogis Offer Core Modeling and Tracking Solutions

By Joe Francica

The return on investment for fleet tracking solutions is often justified by allowing logistics firms to streamline routing, save on fuel by reducing mileage and even remove vehicles from delivery routes when demand is low. Two companies are now offering solutions to squeeze even more costs from the routing and scheduling process.

LandSonar is offering predictive traffic information for the entire United States while Telogis has developed tools to support advanced routing applications like route deviation and real-time tracking.

LandSonar Augments NAVTEQ Data
Most companies doing field service management rely on a digital street network that uses a standard road classification scheme to estimate the time of arrival for mobile professionals (e.g. service technicians and sales representatives). Unfortunately, static local speed limits have nothing to do with traffic patterns. And as many drivers know, traffic conditions usually repeat themselves so there is value in understanding what those patterns represent. LandSonar use billions of independent GPS data points to ascertain the traffic conditions for every road in the US in 15-minute intervals. LandSonar has created predictive models that reflect traffic patterns during weekdays or weekends. The company has recently signed an agreement with NAVTEQ to make these data part of their core map database. The baseline data may reside in a database or web hosting service. It will then be possible "layer on" other data in conjunction with services like NAVTEQï¿1⁄2s real-time traffic data.

For LandSonar, quality, accuracy and coverage were the company's first priorities. The company has several data sources of information, which is becoming more voluminous and further refines the modeling process. With that baseline information, there are many applications that can be developed. These static data give a reasonable prediction of future traffic patterns. Unplanned incidents, or course, are difficult to model. LandSonarï¿1⁄2s objective was to be accurate enough to make planning decisions better than road class speed limits. The company plans to update the data semi-annually.

Telogis Offers Toolset for Defining Route Matrices
Geobase from Telogis provides visualization and tracking as well as spatial calculations in a development toolset. The software helps to define a routing matrix function which returns travel time and distance for a number of stops. Geobase is not an end to end solution but an underlying suite of functionality that also offers support for:
  • Localization and rendering for European and US map styles
  • Data importing - it will import .SHP files into a proprietary format for better compression
  • Unicode (Arabic, Chinese languages, for example)
  • Specialized server for communications with field personnel, reverse geocoding, and a server for route optimization
  • Implementations for J2ME on mobile devices
Since Geobase is a toolset, Telogis is targeting this product toward the B2B market. Geobase performs visualization and tracking as well as the spatial calculations required with third party applications, such as those offered by Astea for field service solutions.

Solutions from both Telogis and LandSonar are helping to augment baseline functionality for route calculations. The combination of traffic modeling and route matrix development offers capabilities to wring yet more efficiency from routing software.

Published Wednesday, August 30th, 2006

Written by Joe Francica

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