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

Principal Investigator(s):

David Wyrick, Former University Researcher, UMD-Industrial Engineering

Project summary:

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. The goal of this project was the evaluation a new generation of automated vehicle data acquisition system and the issues involved in integrating such a system with existing fleet assets, and provide this knowledge and tools to the Minnesota Department of Transportation to more effectively manage its fleet resources. This work built on previous fleet management research carried out on behalf of Mn/DOT since 2003, including evaluation of performance measures and technical capabilities of various systems, benchmarking fleet management practices, modeling life cycle costs of fleet assets, improved data gathering and analysis practices, and intangible aspects such as training and ease of use. Researchers investigated 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. 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; however, the Mn/DOT expressed concern over data protection and cost with this approach, so alternative management strategies were developed. Under these conditions, the recommendation was to increase the frequency of cable-acquired data from the engines and implement best practices for data acquisition. The final report contains an analysis of the various automated vehicle systems tested and provides recommendations for adoption and use.


Project details:

  • Project number: 2006027
  • Start date: 07/2005
  • Project status: Completed
  • Research area: Transportation Safety and Traffic Flow
  • Topics: Data and modeling