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Masternaut vehicle tracking sensor averts vehicle brake failure

02 Three X
24 November, 2010

Leeds, UK, 24 November 2010

Brake failure on a van was averted using new technology from vehicle tracking company Masternaut. Through a patented contactless CANbus connector developed by Masternaut, a fault was recognised in the vehicle's antilock braking system (ABS) and electronic power steering (EPS) and reported that both of these critical systems were displaying warning lights. This alerted the service engineer - who had been ignoring the warning lights - to the potential failure allowing the vehicle to be stopped and recovery arranged.

Masternaut's contactless CANbus connector is unique in not needing an open FMS (fleet management standard) gateway, which retains the full vehicle manufacturer's warranty. The engine monitoring and diagnostic system sends information in real time to the Masternaut vehicle tracking system, alerting operators of faults or unusual driver and vehicle behaviour.  

"This is a cautionary tale for fleet operators and shows that an investment in technology is worthwhile. Drivers often ignore warning lights assuming that these are simple electrical faults and have no bearing on the safety of the vehicle. We were able to prove that the Masternaut data was accurate and on further investigation we were able to show that these two faults had existed for some time. The addition of safety alerts and highly detailed reporting complements the vehicle tracking system, adding a further dimension in accuracy and intelligence," says Martin Port, MD of Masternaut.

In another incident involving a broken down vehicle that was not fitted with a CANBus monitoring system, the truck caused a two hour traffic jam following catastrophic brake and clutch failure. Had the tanker's CANbus been linked to a vehicle tracking system, the depot would have been aware of the vehicle's transmission and brake faults before it was filled and dispatched. These kinds of problems, which are potentially dangerous for road users, often go undetected but the Masternaut system pinpoints them and allows action to be taken instantly.

Modern vehicles are fitted with up to 70 electronic control units for various subsystems. The largest of these is the engine control unit or ECU. Other control units are used for the transmission, airbags, antilock braking, cruise control, audio systems, windows, doors, mirror adjustment and other electronically controlled systems. The CANbus connector relays this information through to the vehicle tracking system enabling the fleet management team monitor that all systems are functioning and maintaining safety of the driver and vehicle.  

The Masternaut application also monitors engine performance helping to identify the cause of low mpg and highlights undesirable driving behaviours such as excessive braking and under or over acceleration. These behaviours can be further monitored using Masternaut's unique GreenerFleet solution, which enables fleet operators to drive down their environmental impact, reducing emissions and slashing fuel costs.

GreenerFleet is also instrumental in Masternaut's Drive for Life, which is the world's largest safe driving competition, with 70,000 drivers being tracked by Masternaut and assessed for their professional driving ability. The competition is supported by road safety charity Brake and IAM Drive & Survive, the professional training division of the Institute of Advanced Motorists.


Masternaut Three X, Priory Park, Great North Road, Aberford, Leeds, LS25 3DF
Telephone: 08444 150 150
Fax: 0113 281 4009
e-mail: info@masternaut.co.uk


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