The INELO Group proceeds to the next stage of works on the advanced software and devices for retrieval and analysis of data from smart tachographs. It is made possible thanks to obtaining one of the first smart devices – VDO 4.0.

The first smart tachograph

The VDO tachograph version 4.0 is the first tachograph of the new generation, so-called smart tachograph, which obtained the type approval. This means that it can already be installed in vehicles traveling on public roads. Another manufacturer of smart tachographs may be Stoneridge, which is going to announce the production of a device compliant to Annex 1C (2016/799/EU) under its own brand

Mandatory since 15th June

The new tachographs will soon be mandatory for all vehicles* registered after 15 June 2019. This date is final and results from Regulation 165/2014/EU. New devices will already appear earlier, because their installation takes place mostly at the vehicle manufacture stage. Plants are already beginning to introduce smart tachographs into their vehicles.

What makes the new tachographs different?

The most important changes vs. previous generation of tachographs:

  • Smart tachographs are fitted with two additional interfaces:
    • GNSS (optional antenna – No. 2 in the figure) – will be primarily responsible for registering vehicle location in the tachograph during the start, end of work (with entry of the start and end country) and every 3 hours of driving. The module will also serve as a second traffic signal to limit the manipulation.
    • DSRC (obligatory antenna – No. 1 in the figure) – a module responsible for remote reading of information suggesting manipulation from the tachograph by enforcement authorities. Retrieved data will only be used for pre-selection of suspicious vehicles. Note! This does not mean that the full tachograph and driver card data can be remotely read by authorities.
  • New tachograph security – such as new seals with numbers entered in the tachograph memory during calibration, changed encryption keys or a new motion sensor (No. 3).
  • New generation of cards: driver, company, inspection and workshop cards – importantly, the current driver, company and inspection cards will work with new tachographs as well. These cards will also be backward compatible with the previous generation of tachographs.
  • Easier connection with smart transport systems – the ability to continuously send the most important information from the tachograph via Bluetooth (e.g. current driver activity, speed, data from the CAN bus, etc.) to any system in a transport company.

What does the change mean for the drivers and carriers?

The first experience shows that the operation of the new tachographs will not be difficult for the driver or the entrepreneur. Most of the functions used on a daily basis do not differ in any way in terms of operation from the current devices.

However, entrepreneurs and enforcement authorities need to consider replacement or upgrading of devices and software for downloading and analysing data from tachographs. The cost of calibrating such a tachograph will increase, among others due to increased number of elements to be checked and the new seals. The largest burden of changes will rest on the workshops that service and calibrate tachographs.

In the following updates we will provide further details related to the introduction of the new digital tachograph system, including practical examples.

* All vehicles in accordance with Regulation 561/2006/EC, mainly vehicles above 3.5 t of GVW and structurally designed for carrying more than 9 people.