Modules, Connectivity

GPS-Buddy: True One-Click Functionality to Transform Fleets

GPS-Buddy is a pioneer in the fleet management industry, connecting vehicles and objects with people. Launched in 2003, it serves over 2,000 companies in transport, logistics, construction and infrastructure.  

More than 52,000 vehicles and assets have GPS-Buddy’s systems in European and Asian countries, including:  

  • The Netherlands  
  • Belgium  
  • Germany
  • Italy  
  • Uzbekistan  
  • Turkey 

With in-house hardware, firmware and software, GPS-Buddy is creating an unparalleled ecosystem fully integrated for its customers. The unique and multifunctional basic system features the latest track and trace technology. It comes standard with integrated motion sensors and battery guards.  

All data, such as tachograph data, vehicle data or core vehicle temperature, are registered in near real-time and are easy to read. The GPS-Buddy systems have been awarded the Keurmerk Ritregistratiesystemen quality mark. This award indicates that a product adheres to the strictest rules regarding privacy and fraud resistance.  

GPS-Buddy can adapt and expand systems quickly depending on the client’s requirements. The client can access all relevant functionalities and only pays for what they use. Optimizing processes and resources (e.g., time, people, materials and fuel) can:  

  • Ensure efficiency
  • Save costs  
  • Help the environment  
  • Create room for innovation 

Besides its production facility, GPS-Buddy has:  

  • An international R&D department 
  • An expert sales team  
  • A professional service group  
  • A multilingual support and help desk 

The head office is in the Netherlands in the city of Almere. This location offers a great advantage to international companies. GPS-Buddy’s local partners can provide service and support quickly and competently, with central coordination to fulfill European agreements. 

The Challenge in Developing New Fleet Management Products

GPS-Buddy recognized that true one-click functionality would transform its business. This feature would propel it toward new e-commerce levels and offer true modular upgrades after installation. With this in mind, GPS-Buddy developed the following new products: 

The XT4 by GPS-Buddy   

GPS-Buddy's XT4 leverages near-field communication for IoT fleet management.

The XT4 is the GPS-Buddy mothership product. It generates all the necessary customer data for various business processes.  

The new unit will come in two versions: the XT4 and the Pro. Both versions offer:  

  • An impressive 4G modem 
  • Bluetooth® beacon technology
  • Near-field communication (NFC)  
  • GPRS  
  • New radio frequency (RF) gateway technology  

The Pro version adds the latest L5 antenna technology available in the market, allowing it to be used in life-saving applications.  

The XT4 device integrates Controller Area Network (CAN bus). CAN bus provides central communication between onboard systems and receives commands from controls. The XT4 also integrates Tacho to provide insights into the speed, distance traveled, and driving and rest times. Tacho eliminates the risk of fraud on GPS-Buddy’s chip within the new XT4 unit and can be deployed remotely after installation. 

RF Tags 

The XT4 unit receives signals from all tags within range, including its own or alien tags. These signals go to the GPS-Buddy cloud so that the customer can visualize them within the portal. In addition, assets that another GPS-Buddy customer detects are still shared on the platform but only visible to the asset owner.  

A Portable Asset Tracker  

GPS-Buddy’s new unit includes a light sensor and wireless charging. On a full charge, it can send a ping a day for 18-20 months. The user can control the settings from the app or desktop and set up a geofence. If the unit is moved away from the geofence, it will step up the tracking based on user input. 

Studio NxT  

Studio NxT is an all-new web-based platform and the heart of what GPS-Buddy does. It puts users in the driver’s seat and provides control over an entire fleet and settings. More importantly, this breaks out of fleet management, moving to objects (e.g., machines, trailers and containers) and buildings. 

Connected Data  

In most objects that GPS-Buddy connects, data is gathered through the message-based CAN bus protocol. CAN bus allows electronic control units (ECUs) in automobiles and other machines to communicate in a reliable, priority-driven fashion. All devices receive messages or “frames” in the network, which does not require a host computer. 

To develop its product, GPS-Buddy needed processors to handle 4G connectivity and gateway functionality. 

Enabling the Creation of GPS-Buddy’s State-of-the-Art Hardware

We have been working with Telit Cinterion for over 15 years. We are a connectivity customer in transition toward prepaid. It is a perfect partner for us in creating state-of-the-art hardware. Telit Cinterion’s top engineers work closely with our R&D team. As a result, we can maximize usage of the Telit Cinterion processor.

Oscar van der Spruit, COO, GPS-Buddy

GPS-Buddy uses our popular xE910 form factor for LTE Cat 1, which is ideal for various IoT applications. Our IoT connectivity solutions manage their IoT deployment.

The Results: New Partnerships, Vision and Direction for GPS-Buddy

GPS-Buddy partnered with a specialist in CAN bus solutions to enable the full CAN bus logic and library on the XT4 chip. It is ready for remote deployment with a broad range of available data for various solutions. This partnership empowers GPS-Buddy to offer one platform with relevant data and services, all modular and expandable.  

Data that connected CAN bus services make available include:  

  • Drivers’ performance  
  • Trailer data
  • Tire pressure management 
  • Car sharing  
  • Alarms and security  
  • Predictive maintenance  

GPS-Buddy also entered a strategic partnership with TechData to distribute its units and software all over Europe. 

Let us know if you are interested in working on a customer case study.