KOKOMO, Ind. -- Delphi Corp. announced it will begin production shortly on a new satellite transceiver unit that GE will use with its VeriWise asset intelligence system. GE's VeriWise system allows fleet owners to track and monitor mobile assets such as over-the-road trailers.
Delphi's satellite transceiver unit, known as the DS300, enables GE to offer its customers two-way data sharing using the ORBCOMM low-earth orbit satellite network. It is one of two such transceivers that Delphi agreed last year to co-develop and manufacture for Stellar Satellite Communications, a global supplier of data communications products for two-way messaging, tracking and monitoring applications.
The GE technology team demonstrated VeriWise to the public during a visit to Delphi Electronics & Safety's Kokomo headquarters on Aug. 3. VeriWise was shown as part of GE's Mobile Solutions Center, an interactive custom-built, 53-foot technology demonstration trailer. GE's technology team showed how the VeriWise system works, and how it addresses critical issues affecting the trucking industry and consumer prices, including homeland security.
"Our customers operate in very challenging conditions for electronics," said Thomas Konditi, general manager for the GE Equipment Services - Asset Intelligence unit, which has its headquarters in Barrington, Illinois. "We anticipate the automotive-grade quality and robustness of these new Delphi transceivers will satisfy our requirements and support dependable, high-volume data transmissions."
The DS300 is a robust satellite modem offering enhanced functionality through sophisticated built-in applications, a built-in GPS receiver, and a rugged exterior for longer wear.
"We're pleased to support GE and Stellar as we begin production of the DS300, which leverages Delphi's automotive capabilities into new applications," said Robert Schumacher, general director, Delphi Integrated Media Systems. "The device has been designed to target automotive Six-Sigma quality levels, and we'll apply the same rigorous manufacturing standards to the DS300 that we use in our automotive technologies."
GE's VeriWise Asset Intelligence system is a virtual "brain," developed initially by GE for the trailer portion of an 18-wheeler big rig. Since 2003, it has helped shippers maintain reliable delivery of consumer goods, such as produce, clothing and electronics. VeriWise helps trucking companies better allocate their trailers in the face of a critical national driver shortage. VeriWise can support better homeland security by offering another layer of protection as trailers and containers move from ports and rail hubs to destinations across North America.
Big Rig Trailers - From "Dumb" to "Smart"
Previously trailers were "dumb assets" that were largely ignored, except for the load/haul/unload cycle. Today however, trailers equipped with the GE VeriWise system are considered integrated "smart assets" that can report location, cargo status and other critical information back to customers. The system can send an alert if the trailer is at an unplanned location, or if its doors and cargo have been accessed unexpectedly.
VeriWise is a vital new technology resource to help trucking companies maintain productivity while they wrestle each day with the impact of the current driver shortage and asset utilization. In many cases firms now instruct their drivers not to wait for completion of a load/unload cycle, but instead to leave the trailer and return for it later after the unit has been loaded with a new shipment of cargo. However, once a trailer is disconnected from the cab, it can easily "disappear" through theft or temporary, unauthorized use, depending on the length of the unload/load cycle.
Trucking companies now can use trailer tracking technology from GE to avoid losing trailers, locate stolen trailers and the cargo they contain, or to monitor trailers left by the driver to detect and prevent unauthorized transport in between loads -- all situations that drive up operating costs for shippers and ultimately consumers. VeriWise system data can be communicated to local authorities and law enforcement to more quickly determine the nature of unauthorized activity, based on both the status of the trailer and the load contained inside the trailer.