MIS Fuel Monitoring has completed development of an on-board vehicle transponder unit for commercial vehicles. Basically a data acquisition unit, the transponder will help speed the fuelling process by providing the mileage (odometer) reading automatically.
The development has been driven by the depot requirements of large city fleet operators which normally use dedicated night time service teams to turn around the buses for daily services. Garage movements are finely tuned as buses return at the end of the final shift, they need to be washed, cleaned, refuelled and parked up ready to start work the following morning.
There are two key data inputs required by the fuel management control system; authentication of the vehicle being fuelled and the distance travelled (mileage) since the vehicle was fuelled previously – for fleet records as well being an effective measure to prevent fraudulent transactions.
The Merridale Vehicle Transponder unit enables this information to be acquired automatically as the vehicle enters the fuelling point. Formerly this information had to be obtained from the vehicle odometer and entered manually using the pump keyboard – a procedure which works well enough in less stressful situations, where drivers are usually responsible for fuelling their own vehicles.
For busy night-time operations however, an automatic data acquisition system can speed up the fuelling process and avoid potential stress and frustration caused by mistakes being made in reading or keying in this information.
“Whilst automatic data acquisition is not a new concept, designing a resilient system that will deliver the reliability that is essential for this application, has been the main challenge,” explains technical support director, John Russell.
The Merridale system uses wireless technology to communicate with an on board transponder unit which obtains the mileage data from the vehicle engine management network. It is fully compatible and can be used in conjunction with the Merridale vLink and other vehicle authentication devices.
Existing Merridale fuel management systems can be updated easily to work with the transponder unit and the system has been thoroughly tested in trials undertaken by a leading public service vehicle operator.