20 June 2010 – New Sunday Times
ASTRATA Malaysia Sdn Bhd and Gophers Technologies Sdn Bhd have collaborated to come up with the Astrata DAx, a premium in-cab driver assistant unit.
One of the leading fleet management system and service providers in Malaysia for commercial vehicles, Astrata, is well known for providing high-end tracking and telemetic systems to fleet owners.
The company understands the need for a front-end system to aid drivers prevent speeding and infringement of company safety policies.
Gophers, using its technical expertise in the field of in-car navigation, designed and built the Astrata DAx device specifically for commercial vehicle operators.
Housed in an unassuming, GPS device body, the DAx uses its GPS functions to calculate the speed and position of the vehicle.
If a driver approaches the set speed limit or exceeds it, the device will give off audio and visual Warnings, prompting the driver to slow down.
“Many of the complaints we received from drivers is that’ speedometer readings are often wrong due to its calibration’, says Tong Pow Mun (picture), director and general manager of Astrata Malaysia.
“The DAx device uses GPS to accurately determine the vehicle’s speed, and it will save
fleet owners a lot of time and money on recalibrating their speedometers”.
Thanks to its GPS tracking system, drivers will also be alerted to approaching authorised rest stop or accident-prone stretches of the highway.
With the DAx connected through the vehicle’s ignition system, the system will begin logging once the vehicle is started.
Before they drive off, the drivers will be reminded to check the vehicle’s functionalities according to the company’s standard operating procedure.
One notable feature is the DAx fatigue management, in a form of a countdown timer, which helps drivers to keep track of and prompts them when their next mandatory rest time is due.
“A safety supervisor has told me that the DAx device has helped his drivers cut down on speeding violations as the visual and audio prompts help them keep track of their speed”, says Tong.
“This device can improve vehicle safety and driver efficiency”.
Besides alerts and warnings, the DAx also has “Black-Box” functionality where GPS data is logged at one-second intervals for up to seven days, stored in the DAx internal memory bank or an SD card.
This data can be used for detailed incident and accident investigation when required.
Astrata will programme the DAx to the parameters given by a company.
“Fleet operators have to provide us the information such as speed limits, accident locations, rest hours, and authorised rest stops”, said Tong. “Astrata will customise the device settings”.
The DAx device is designed to be utilitarian, only showing speed, time and driver prompts.
Astrata has already sold more than 200 units before its launch. Among the buyers are Lord Sebarkat, Sani United, MK Haulage, G-Force and LTS Haulage.
“We needed a tried and proven platform for the DAx. Only Gophers met our standards”, says Tong.
The DAx device will be retailing at RM1,200, exclusive of installation.
For more information on Astrata and the Astrata DAx visit www.astratagroup.com, call 03-21637833 or email joann@ astratagroup.com