We’re so used to being always connected everywhere we go at any given time. But what happens when you’re a fleet manager or small business owner with a fleet of vehicles and have no network coverage?

Suppose you are currently working from home, spending time online looking for a fleet management solution for your business. But you are worried about situations when there’s no network coverage or connectivity. This post is for you. And the good news is, there’s not much to worry about.

No network? No problem. At least that’s how we feel about things over here at Veturilo.

Getting connected and network coverage

Let’s start with some basics. If you are keen to ensure that your cars, trucks, vans etc are always running in peak condition, then an On-board diagnostics(OBD) device is essential. Why? Because these devices, and the solutions that are based on them, give you an ‘inside’ view of your vehicle and its electronic components. This can help you find out what’s wrong when there are any warning lights or issues; as well as point to what needs to be fixed. And so, with the data you collect, you can say goodbye to unexpected breakdowns. And, of course, stop worrying about what may be wrong with a vehicle each time a engine warning light comes on.

OBD devices typically use a range of connectivity technologies for data-logging, from Bluetooth and WiFi, to GSM. If you go for a GSM-based OBD solution like Veturilo, you can expect faster connection and data in real-time. But what if there’s no network coverage? We’ll come to that, don’t worry.

First, let’s compare the technologies a little.

Cloud-based vs Bluetooth data logging

Nowadays, most vehicles rolling off production lines are already compliant with what is known as OBD II. It’s the latest standard required so vehicles can interface with external devices. There are multiple mobile apps that can communicate with OBD devices. They do it via such connectivity technologies, as Bluetooth, WiFi, and even GSM. Almost every car manufactured during the last decade comes with OBD functionality. 

Before we go into detail with OBD II, however, let’s check the first alternative, Bluetooth.

Bluetooth, as you probably already know, is a protocol to transfer information to phones from a close distance. It works by sending out a frequency that a phone can scan for. If it finds any devices close enough that are also transmitting a Bluetooth single, then it can connect to it. The great thing about Bluetooth is that it’s been around for many years and has not really changed. Apart from that it is also very reliable. 

Advantages of Bluetooth

  • It’s been around the block, so most phones or devices you have will be compatible
  • Your vehicle’s system may already even be set up with Bluetooth
  • Bluetooth adapters are also generally cheaper in comparison to other technologies
  • Bluetooth can be used anywhere anywhere, irrespective of network coverage
  • It does not require any other system to transfer the information/data

Minus points

  • Major disadvantage is that Bluetooth can be much slower than a WiFi or mobile data transfer
  • Range of transfer is limited. You need to have your device close to the adapter. to get it to transfer data
  • Obstacles such as walls and other large objects can interfere. So, you have to be physically in the vehicle to transfer the information

OBD II to the rescue

If you are searching for a solution that allows you to manage your fleet vehicles more efficiently, you will most probably come across the term OBD II. But if you have no idea of what OBD II is, here’s a short explanation for you. The term refers to the second generation of on-board diagnostic systems that provide access to various subsystems statuses of vehicles. And so, by mounting them on your vehicles, you get to monitor a variety of important things regarding your vehicles’ internal system; all via your smartphone.

But what about in areas where network coverage is limited or poor. No problem. Why? Because even if there’s a temporary problem with your network connection, all your data will still be sent, as expected. An example of such a situation is if you’re traveling within an area where connection quality is low. It may just take a bit until the connection gets back to normal. Not only that, but its internal battery also makes it self-reliant even when parked. This means that it keeps data stored in a buffer to be sent later on. Now that’s smart, right?

Why use an OBD II device?

There are a ton of reasons as to why you need an OBD II device. That’s whether you are a fleet manager, or small business owner who owns and runs a fleet of vehicles. You can read a comprehensive list here.

And again, you don’t need to worry about the dependence on network coverage. Most, if not all, OBD II solutions do not need large amounts of bandwidth or a strong signal to transmit data. Especially since the data is usually compressed and can be transmitted even when network coverage is weak.

But, at the end of the day, network coverage in the US and throughout most developed countries is now exceptional; so you won’t ever have to stay “off the grid” for long. And, in any case, since your data/information will be queued and sent later anyway, you really do have nothing to worry about on that front.

Handling fleet management with no network coverage, is not a difficult task after all. That is, when you have a solution in place, which involves OBD II, like our very own Veturilo. You will still have all that priceless data you need to manage your fleet effectively and efficiently.

A hyper-connected future

No matter what industry your business is in, or what type of fleet you have, you can feel safe in the knowledge that you can manage your fleet efficiently.  Be it facility trucks or service vans, delivery vehicles or cargo trucks, taxis, limos or VIP cars; you’ll have what you need.

And, things will only get better. As the Internet of Things(IoT) continues to advance, with innovations such as low intensity antennas, more satellites, and better mobile networks with 5G, it will also make inroads into our daily lives from the professional world. With this, vehicles will only become even better connected; and the connected cars revolution, as well as the app store ecosystem 2.0, will become a reality.

How to handle fleet management without network coverage was last modified: April 16th, 2020 by Graham Wood