Norwegian company has sold 135,000 vehicle tracking devices

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The Triplog, is the core technology of ABAX. Everyday these tracking units document several million miles driven by its users and send it to data servers located in Sweden.

Source - Larvik (digi.no)

The information is used for creating electronic mileage logs, which businesses can put on the table when the authorities (HMRC) want to know if a commercial vehicle has been used for private usage.

Typically, the HMRC show up to sporting events or shopping centres in the evenings and look for company vehicles. They then contact the companies to ask them to prove that the vehicle was not used for private purposes. If the business owner fails to prove this, they can have problems, explains Development Manager Glenn Bergan.

Through an online interface, companies can also see where company vehicles are located in real time. It can be useful if you are managing a handful of trailers, company vehicles or heavy machinery.

We can do a lot of things with our technology – the difficult thing is to choose things not to have focus on.  We have decided to be a problem solver for everyone using vehicles for work. In future this will shift towards the worker sitting inside the vehicle. It can be talking about services like logging hours and project management, he explains.

Sales have six doubled

When we spoke with the company in 2011, they had sold 23,000  units. We reported that the sales had exploded then. In four years, they had six-folded this amount- so far they have sold over 135,000 units.

Last year they had doubled the result and turnover increased by one third. Today they are one of the largest private employers in Larvik, where the company is Headquartered. They also have offices in Sweden, Oslo, Bergen, Stavanger, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands and England.

Some of the money has also been used for sponsoring sports teams. The stadium of the League One football team, Peterborough United, is now called the ABAX Stadium. In addition, they have become one of the 15 main sponsors of the Netherlands Ajax FC.

We want to create a solid base in the places that we establish our offices, says Glenn Bergan.

In Larvik we grew out of the offices and have now moved into the old but newly renovated, industrial premises called Fritzøe Møller.

How the Triplog works

Their most popular device, ABAX4, connects to the car battery via a 12 volt line. It monitors the voltage of the engine, to see if it is running (and charging the battery) or not. An accelerometer detects whether the vehicle is in motion.

However, it may react to vibrations, for example: when a trailer drives past. It therefore gets help from a magnometer and a gyroscope.

As soon as the car is in motion, positioning data is transmitted from the device via the GSM network every minute, or every time the car makes a turn. Each such transfer contains 21 bytes of information.

If there is not any mobile coverage in the area, the information is stored on an internal memory and sent as soon as the mobile coverage has returned.

The device is powered by the 12-volt line, but it also has an internal battery. The main purpose for this is to tell the system that it is without power, rather than supplying it for an extended period of time. This may for example detect tampering or incorrect installation.

One unit, five "Norwegian" companies

Incorrect installation can also be detected by ABAX using the accelerometer. In other words, customers may expect to get a phone call if they have put their box upside down.

The top cover should be turned toward the sky to get the best possible coverage, says Head of Research and Creativity, Kjetil Lassen.

The brain of the system is a microcontroller (MCU) from Atmel. This programs ABAX themselves.

Today a 433MHz radio is used to communicate with other devices locally. It is useful in vehicles used by several, where drivers can log on with a standard access control chip on a separate wireless device that communicates over the radio.

In the future, the box will be equipped with Bluetooth technology from Norwegian Nordic Semiconductor. The embedded SIM card in the GSM module comes from Telenor, and is used in all countries.

So – A Norwegian company develops a unit with Norwegian developed MCU and Norwegian developed Bluetooth technology and Norwegian produced SIM card.

The reason why we are developing this ourselves, is because we want a product that is easy to install and that works. There are a lot of poor quality products out there, says Bergan.

To top it all - It is all fitted together by Norwegian Kitron. Admittedly, this happens in Lithuania.