SAN DIEGO - More than 500 fleets encompassing more than 140,000 users now use Qualcomm's Hours of Service application, QHOS, the company announced at its Vision 2012 User's Conference this week.

Norm Ellis, vice president sales, service and marketing for Qualcomm Enterprise Services, said that of the more than 85,000 users represented by customers attending the management conference, about 80%, or more than 69,000, were using the QHOS applications.

Upcoming regulation and compliance issues are one of the reasons fleets are adopting automated log systems, he said, giving them better tools to handle the "driver fatigue" component of their CSA scores.

Beyond compliance

But fleets are discovering extra benefits from the technology, he added, which give them an advantage over other fleets that do not use automated logs.

For instance, Ellis said, fleets are discovering they have an extra one to two-and-a-half hours of driving time per driver -- hours dispatchers and drivers didn't realize they had until after paper logs are turned in.

"When the paper log is in the truck, you have no way of knowing which driver actually has hours left to pick up a load," he said. With an automated system such as QHOS, dispatchers know what a driver's status is in real time.

Drivers adapt to automated logs quickly, Ellis said, and driver satisfaction is another benefit of the systems. "A driver logs into his unit, his log is downloaded into his computer from QES's server, he verifies that it is accurate, and he doesn't have to touch it again until he logs out at the end of the day. When the truck stops, the log automatically changes the driver's status to on-duty not driving." The only time the driver has to do anything is when he or she goes into the sleeper berth, in which case the driver would note that change on the in-cab terminal.

The cost of implementing such technologies continues to drop, Ellis noted. Qualcomm's newest lower-end in-cab devices start at just under $800 with service plans available for $19.95 per month per truck.

More Announcements

Qualcomm also announced new terrestrial broadband pricing plans for its MCP110 and MCP200 mobile computing platforms, with tiered plans that the company says offer fleets more flexibility. The company also announced integration of its critical event reporting application with the Bendix Wingman collision mitigation technology and Takata's SafeTrak Lane Departure Warning system.

The company is also working on integrating data from roll-stability (rollover prevention) systems into its critical event reporting application. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently proposed mandatory stability control in commercial trucks, Ellis noted.

Qualcomm also announced that NaviGo 4.0 powered by Telogis would be available this summer on the MCP110 and 200 to provide navigation, on-board routing and re-routing and other capabilities.

Sylectus, a QES business unit, launched MyPro, a Web-based transportation management system specifically designed for private fleets with fewer than 400 trucks. The system includes integrated dispatch, billing and driver settlements.

The Vision 2012 Conference continues through June 7 in San Diego.