Nordic Semiconductor today announces that Norwegian telematics company, ABAX, has launched a comprehensive vehicle fleet management solution employing Nordic’s nRF52832 System-on-Chip (SoC) to provide Bluetooth® Low Energy (previously known as Bluetooth Smart) wireless connectivity between the multiple components of the ABAX vehicle management ecosystem.
At the heart of the solution is the ABAX5 ‘Triplog’ main unit which when fitted to a fleet vehicle automatically calculates its mileage and location using GPS positioning. With its Triplog service, ABAX ensures its customers are fully compliant with company vehicle tax legislations by automating and simplifying trip documentation. GPS data is transmitted via GSM to ABAX’s servers, allowing fleet operators to effectively monitor and manage their ‘live’ fleet. Historical movements can be viewed via a web-based software interface or an ABAX app on the operator’s iOS or Android Bluetooth 4.0 (and later) smartphone or tablet.
Using this information, a fleet operator can, for example, not only keep track of vehicle mileage, but also direct the nearest driver to a new job the moment notification is received, improving customer responsiveness and fleet efficiency. The ABAX5 acts as the main unit or base station in the fleet management ecosystem, employing Nordic’s nRF52832 SoC to provide Bluetooth LE wireless connectivity between the ABAX5 and the other add-on devices in the system, in part thanks to the Nordic SoC’s ability to act as both a Bluetooth LE ‘Central’ or ‘Peripheral’ device.
The ABAX Connected add-on is an OBDII-enabled dongle which connects to the vehicle’s diagnostic port and can collect a range of data from the vehicle including speed, RPM, fuel consumption, CO2 emissions, and Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs). ABAX Connected also employs a Nordic nRF52832 SoC to wirelessly transmit this data to the ABAX5 base station.
The ABAX5 employs a 500mAh Li-Poly backup battery providing for up to two days of full operation if power is lost, thanks in part to the ultra low power consumption of the nRF52832 SoC. The nRF52832 has been engineered to minimize power consumption with features such as the 2.4GHz radio’s 5.5mA peak RX/TX currents and a fully-automatic power management system that reduces power consumption by up to 80 percent compared with Nordic’s nRF51 Series SoCs. The result is a Bluetooth LE solution which offers 90 CoreMark/mA, up to twice as power efficient as competing devices. The nRF52832 SoC combines a 64MHz, 32-bit ARM® Cortex® M4F processor with a 2.4GHz multiprotocol radio (fully compatible with Bluetooth 4.2, ANT™ and proprietary 2.4GHz RF software) featuring -96dB RX sensitivity, with 512kB Flash memory and 64kB RAM.
“In ABAX we have a wireless policy, if it is possible to make it wireless we do it,” says Kjetil Lassen, ABAX R&C Manager. “When we were investigating the market for Bluetooth LE SoCs, Nordic’s solution stood out in terms of architecture, and the separate, easily upgradeable SoftDevice.
“The technical support at Nordic is very good. Our developers use the online Nordic Developer Zone and get good answers, fast which has really accelerated development.”
The company also offers the ABAX Mini add-on, a passive tracking device which can be attached to expensive tools and equipment and employs Nordic’s nRF52832 SoC to communicate via Bluetooth LE with other ABAX units within a range of 100m, allowing the operator to keep track of the location of their assets and reduce the risk of theft. The ABAX Mini uses a coin cell battery with a lifetime of up to ten years running Bluetooth LE only.