Trackunit software

The project was developed for Trackunit A/S, a company from Denmark which provides comprehensive vehicle “fleet” tracking and management services to wide range of business. Their fleet tracking services are popular in both mid-size and large scale companies. At the moment the project was implemented Trackunit A/S already had established manufacturing of a set of devices which can be installed on vehicles to provide fleet tracking.

With growing popularity of Android and iOS devices Trackunit decided to extend availability of their services by development of Android and iOS applications which can be used instead of their tracking devices, this way reducing costs of their services and as result extending presence on the market. Indeed, if their clients already have iOS or Android devices, they don’t need to pay extra money for special-purpose hardware – they can use just software and associated services.

Solution

The proposed solution consists of a set of applications: position reporting software and vehicle tracking software.

Position reporting software has minimalistic user interface mostly for authentication and configuration of the application. It reads device GPS position coordinates at configured time intervals, logs in to the server side and reports device coordinates along with some other details like vehicle speed, direction, etc.

Position tracking software has more interactive and user friendly interface. It shows vehicle positions on map, allows setting certain alarms, for instance, for vehicle leaving certain area and provides vehicle usage statistics: average speed, distance driven during a period of time, etc. Both applications have several user interface versions branded after Trackunit sub-brands.

More intellectual application in this product line is Paver Operator Unit. When laying new asphalt on road with a paver (an asphalt dispenser) if paver operator lays too fast, he might run out of asphalt before next truck with new asphalt comes and replenishes the paver. That would cause a joint to surface, and that is to be avoided. If paver operator lays too cautiously (in order to not cause a joint) the team will lose in efficiency. Conclusion: paver operator needs a way to know when the next asphalt truck will arrive. Paver Operator Unit is an Android application providing paver operators with predictive tracking of trucks’ arrival.

Architecture

The entire solution consists of 4 parts:

  • Position reporting software which is a set of native iOS and Android applications tracking vehicle position and reporting it to the server via JSON-encoded queries.
  • Back-end services are web services for position reporting and retrieval via JSON-encoded GET calls.
  • Web interface for users is a web site providing access to user cabinet, fleet information, web site usage and vehicle movement statistics. It has convenient interface for monitoring vehicles.
  • Position tracking software which is a set of native iOS and Android applications retrieving vehicle data from back-end web services via JSON-encoded queries and displaying vehicle position on map and reporting other vehicle usage statistics. It support push notifications for alerts.

Tools and Technologies

  • Objective-C, Xcode, iOS SDK.
  • Java, Eclipse, Android SDK.
  • Google maps, GPS positioning.
  • Push notifications for iOS and Android.

Benefits

Outsourcing development of the project reduced its development costs and risks associated with development. Extension of the services this way will reduce their costs, will improve efficiency of the services and potentially will extend company presence on the market.