FY06 NATSRL-Integration of Automated Vehicle System Data Acquisition into Fleet Management


David Wyrick, Chinweike Eseonu

March 2008

Report no. CTS 08-05

Previous work at the University of Minnesota Duluth on fleet asset management determined a key shortcoming in life cycle costing analysis was the poor quality of available data. Automation of data acquisition was recommended to minimize errors inherent in manual data collection and data entry.

This project investigates the feasibility of collecting data from engine computers on board Class 330 and 350 snowplows and wirelessly transmitting these data directly into the Maximus M5 maintenance information system. Wireless modems were evaluated to select models that could function in the physical setting and temperature conditions of northern Minnesota. One modem met all the criteria and was field-tested in several different snowplow units. The modem functioned, but the interface with the on-board computer prevented data transfer due to embedded proprietary software by the engine manufacturers.

Third party providers do offer real-time remote data collection from engine computers. The Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT) expressed concern over data protection and cost with this approach, so alternative management strategies were developed. Under these conditions, the recommendation is to increase the frequency of cable-acquired data from the engines and implement best practices for data acquisition.

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ITS Institute (RITA)