PeopleNet unveils new generation Blu.2 onboard computer
June 13, 2011
TORONTO, Ont. -- PeopleNet has come out with a sleeker, more powerful version of its Blu in-cab computing system, which will be available to customers for about the same price as the original version, the company announced.
PeopleNet's new Blu.2 onboard computer is lighter, more powerful and yet no more expensive than the first-generation Blu device, the company announced.
TORONTO, Ont. — PeopleNet has come out with a sleeker, more powerful version of its Blu in-cab computing system, which will be available to customers for about the same price as the original version, the company announced.
The company unveiled Blu.2 at its PeopleNet Canada Transportation Symposium in Toronto June 10, where it received rave reviews from beta-tester MacKinnon Transport.
Linehaul coordinator Shelley Hickey said MacKinnon appreciates Blu.2’s new functions, including the ability to change duty without having to contact the firm’s safety department and a panic alarm feature that alerts a designated contact of any dangers encountered on the road. She also liked the ability to display electronic logs on-screen for enforcement officers, which usually relieves dispatch from having to print and fax logs to an inspection station.
“The lighter, more compact unit is easier for mounting,” added MacKinnon Transport maintenance manager, John Gibson. “I’ve also heard some of our drivers comment about how driver-friendly they are to use and how much they like them.”
In a conference call with media, Matt Voda, vice-president of product management, said the Blu.2 device is 65% lighter than the first generation model it replaces. Transitioning to the new model is simple, he added, because it can be installed using existing mounting hardware.
The new-generation computing system is also designed for improved performance in cold temperatures, which is sure to be appreciated by Canadian customers.
“Especially for our friends in Canada, we wanted to provide a device that’s faster in cold weather start-up and we achieved that with this new design,” Voda said, noting the Blu.2 system can get up and running 40% faster in cold weather than the Blu.1 system.
Existing customers can swap out and replace the displays without having to replace their back-end systems, Voda said.
“It’s a very efficient upgrade for our customers,” he pointed out, adding there is no retraining required for drivers, as the system will be intuitive to use for anyone familiar with the original Blu. Fleets can deploy a mix of Blu.1 and Blu.2 devices if they wish, as the support and maintenance requirements of both systems are the same.
And perhaps best of all, it won’t cost any more than the first-generation systems. Voda said underutilized features, such as extra USB slots, were eliminated in order to keep costs in check.
“You’re getting more features and value, really for the same costs,” Voda said. “It’s a stronger platform going forward for about the same price.”
Some of the enhancements offered in the Blu.2 system are a brighter display and more dimming options for nighttime use. Drivers also have greater control over the audio feed and it’s Bluetooth-compatible so drivers can safely use the system while driving. Drivers can also choose to have inbound messages read to them so they don’t have to divert their eyes from the road.
Blu.2 is currently in the late stages of beta testing and will be rolled out to industry in the third quarter, Voda announced. PeopleNet promised “attractive pricing” for existing customers looking to upgrade. In the fourth quarter, PeopleNet plans to roll out “significant capability enhancements” across its entire Blu platform. The new product launch affirms PeopleNet’s commitment to the Blu platform, Voda indicated. Currently, there are about 120,000 Blu units deployed in the industry, he added.
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