“Is the current generation of IVMS still what it was back in 2009 during the mining boom?”, one may well ask.
To a large extent yes, but back in 2009 technology simply was not where it is today. IVMS back then did have most of what we have today: detection of speed, position, harsh braking, a duress button, excessive idling, handbrake usage and over-revving, but the accuracy with which these are done has changed and some new functions have been added. Also, in 2017 some of these older functions are still available as part of IVMS, but they are no longer used. Here is a comparison between the older and newer generations of IVMS units and how they are implemented:
- Handbrake sensors are difficult to install and would add around 20 minutes to the installation time of a standard IVMS unit, so its usage has mostly died away
- Cars nowadays all have seatbelt sensors, but IVMS standards still require that failure to use seatbelts needs to be reported, so this remains largely unchanged
- Excessive idling seems to be less of an IVMS requirement now and for no obvious reason, as it still implies fuel wastage
- Driving style monitoring has been added: modern IVMS units all have solid state accelerometers in them and, provided the IVMS unit is properly mounted, all of these can be treated as violations. A good IVMS unit will also allow the owner to calibrate the settings to suit their own requirements
- Another important addition to IVMS in in current times is the ability of the units to deal with multiple speed limits on mine sites. A 2009 IVMS unit typically had a single “maximum speed” setting, today mine maps are loaded into the memory of IVMS units and the units can at any time compare the current speed with what is stored in the map, from where a warning and a potential violation notification can be given directly in line with the speed limit at that position
- Driver identification remains a requirement but this has changed from a basic Dallas-key style IVMS unit to now also allow for modern day RFID readers
- Driver notifications have improved through the use of a wider range of audible alarms and also the option of display units, but this has not become a major IVMS requirement, perhaps as a result of the fact that IVMS essentially remains an after-the-fact analysis tool, rather than providing on-the-spot feedback
- The 3G network is much wider than the old 2G network, so the need for satellite transmitters with IVMS has mostly fallen away
- Devices are far more accurate and the old bugbear of a “GPS jump” that used to really bother IVMS in 2009 has completely disappeared: modern GPS chips have far more advanced firmware to do away with spikes in speed and position recordings.
So, whereas there is a massive overlap between older and current generation IVMS, we now have a smaller, cheaper and much smarter device than what it was back in 2009. It costs less and takes less time to fit, so the ROI is more evident a lot quicker.
The part of IVMS that has not changed is its main purpose: to save lives and to stop people from what could in many cases be classified as their own recklessness. What also has not changed is that IVMS pays for itself: manage driving style and vehicle usage better and the saving in terms of operating costs makes the small monthly fee totally insignificant – driver safety, as has always been the case, comes as a free and vital add-on to IVMS, today more than ever before.