Aug 9, 2018,  by Allianz Partners Business Insights

Total launches an IoT solution for locating trailers

Since 9th July, Stela, a subsidiary of Total, is offering road transporters an IoT solution that enables them to locate their trailers and optimise their use. Connected to the Sigfox network, the device provides geolocation data when the vehicles are stationery.

Where’s my trailer?” is the name of the IoT solution launched by Total on Monday 9th July 2018, via its subsidiary Stela. This box, designed for road transporters, enables clients to geolocate their trailers when they are out and about, according to Usine Digitale.

Fixed onto the trailer, the device sends out useful data when the vehicle is stationery, via the Sigfox network. The Where’s my trailer? boxes are self-powered and can be used for “between 5 and 8 years, depending on the number of messages sent,” says Stela’s president, Vincent Pubert. 


Successful tests carried out


“The main problem transporters have is monitoring their active loads and ensuring that their trailers are moving and are in the right place,” says the CEO. Total’s solution enables transporters to easily identify the equipment that is being underused and then to optimise its use.

The boxes developed by Stela have been tested over the last year by transport companies Ambroise Bouvier and Lahaye, two of Brittany’s main transporters. The experiment, carried out using more than 1,000 boxes, proved so convincing that Total’s subsidiary decided to roll out its device to the whole of France.


Geolocation, maintenance, anti-theft alerts: a multi-functional box 


Now, thanks to the Stela box, transporters can not only know “where their trailers are and how long they have been inactive, but also whether they have been decoupled or recoupled to a lorry,” explained Vincent Pubert, and they are also, “alerted when maintenance is due.” All of the data collected during the vehicle’s journey is sent out by the device, which enables the client to “piece together where the lorry has been and work out exactly where the trailer is.”

A number of the box’s features can be configured by the transporter: there is an anti-theft system, which alerts the client if the trailer is moved outside of the hours set by the transporter.


Rolling out in Europe


Stela’s solution is available in France “at a very competitive price,” say Total, with a free box and a bulk discount depending on the number of devices purchased. It is currently being tested in several other countries and the CEO of Stela is already envisaging “putting it on the market in other European countries in 2019.”

The company wants to develop a number of other solutions, including a sensor that monitors the temperature of hydrocarbon tankers.


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