The Verified Inspection app, a solution that has already been patented in the US, is said to offer simple processes for managing compliance and cost-effective management of defects to ensure higher productivity of a commercial vehicle fleet.
According to Continental, managers of commercial vehicle fleets benefit from greater transparency on the reliability of the checks performed. Fleet managers and workshop mechanics can improve defect management using data transmitted via the app to resolve any detected defects quickly and efficiently.
Ismail Dagli, head of the smart mobility business area at Continental, said: "Continental Verified Inspection supports fleets in complying with applicable obligations – digitally and automatically. But it is not only compliance that is simplified. We also support fleets in increasing the operating times of their vehicles by helping to detect, prevent and efficiently rectify possible defects at an early stage."
A thorough inspection of all safety-relevant functions of a commercial vehicle – for example, tyres, lighting system, cargo area and load – is required in many European countries and takes around 15 minutes on average. However, the requirements differ between countries and for each type of transport, so procedures for departure checks are varied. Continental Verified Inspection takes this heterogeneity into account. The digital solution consists of a set with a near field communications tag for vehicle identification, up to ten individually placeable tags for the inspection process, and a smartphone app for the driver's acceptance and archiving of the vehicle’s condition on the day in question.
The driver can begin their checking procedure after logging into the app and selecting the vehicle by scanning an identification tag. The app records that each inspection tag is included in the check and registers how much time they have spent on each section of the vehicle inspection.
Timo Ketterer, head of service product management in the business segment connected commercial vehicle solutions, said: “This prevents a driver from simply sitting in his cabin and clicking through the checklist, or just making a quick once-around of the vehicle. The fleet manager receives more reliable departure check results and can quickly assess whether the relevant regulations were complied with.”
The complete archiving of verified departure checks enables those responsible to fully prove their compliance with legal requirements in the event of an inspection by the authorities. With the inspection builder feature pre-departure checks can be customised to all kinds of assets, enabling a fleet to build its individual control process. Other workflows can be included, like recording of operators working time.
The app is expected to make departure transparent and enable increased efficiency in fleet workshops. Defects detected during departure checks should be repaired in the workshop at the earliest possible opportunity – however, if a defect could affect safety, it should be repaired immediately. Otherwise, the vehicle may not depart and that may, in turn, impact operations. The data from the app gives fleet managers and workshop supervisors a detailed overview of the fleet’s current condition and enables coordination of workshop visits and field calls by mechanics to be prioritised and handled efficiently based on the severity of the defect.