Geofencing is a technology that defines a virtual boundary around a real-world geographical area. A geofence can be dynamically generated-as in a radius around a mine site or office, or a geofence can be a predefined set of boundaries (i.e. school zones or neighbourhood boundaries).
Geofencing is an integral part of In Vehicle Management System (IVMS) (also known as GPS tracking or Telematics) hardware and software. It allows system users to draw zones around places of work, client sites and high risk, dangerous or secure areas. Geofencing can be a valuable tool. Examples of situations where it may be utilised include:
- Formally mark 'no-go' zones
Example: Could be used to ensure employees avoid construction zones or environmentally protected areas.
- Create speed awareness
Example: Speed limits can be associated with certain areas such as a school zone or worksite.
- Record entry, exit and duration within certain zone
Example: May be used to verify that driver routes are followed or that certain KPIs are met.
- Block high risk/dangerous areas
Example: Aids employees in avoiding unsafe areas such as a train line or explosive area at a mine site.
- Theft Prevention Tool
Example: When a car is parked with the ignition off, it can be programmed to put up a geofence. Should the vehicle move from that geofence the user or operator will be notified.
Notification Integration Options
There are many ways that geofence-related notifications can be incorporated into an IVMS system.
- Events and notifications can be programmed to be automatically sent via email or SMS to multiple parties. Various criteria can be set up (i.e. when an employee enters or exits a certain area a notification is sent to the operations manager, or if a no-go zone is breached, management is notified)
- IVMS can be connected to trigger an audible or visible warning in-cab to create driver awareness (i.e. if a driver enters a high risk area, they will be warned with a flashing light or buzzer)
- In high risk areas IVMS can be programmed to report more often for added safety and security
Electronic notifications usually includes the time, date and location that the virtual boundary was crossed, allowing for an immediate investigation or response to the situation.
Aside from just being a way to track activity within a specific geographical location, geofencing is a powerful tool for:
- Improving driver safety and awareness
- Establishing driver accountability
- Streamlining daily operations
- Increasing overall company productivity
- Tracking inventory and high valued assets
By Harmony Sanderson