4.3 Scenario 1: Truckload/Dry Van
4.3.1 Technologies Tested
The following technologies were tested in this scenario:
- Terrestrial UTT terminal
- Ultrasonic cargo sensor
- Cellular and GPS stealth-mounted antennas
- Tractor power connection
Tractor Mobile Communications System
- Satellite mobile communications terminal
- Tractor system host application
- Trailer-tracking host application with geo-fencing capabilities associated with the trailer
4.3.2 Functionality Tested
The following functions were tested in this scenario.
- Find empty versus loaded trailers
- Find a specific trailer or all trailers at a specific customer site
- Monitor "unauthorized" usage of trailers by customer
- Assign the tractor to a specific trailer
- Send a message to a driver with trailer pickup location
- Verify the trailer is authorized for shipping
- Monitor the load status of the trailer to ensure it is consistent with the participant's manifest
Connection and Disconnection Monitoring
- Verify that the driver connects the correct tractor to the correct trailer (empty or loaded)
- Verify that drops are at authorized locations
- Monitor for unauthorized drops
Tracking of Trailer
- Monitor the route of the trip with hourly tractor positions and daily trailer positions
- Monitor route deviations manually
- Monitor risk areas with geo-fencing
The configurations for Scenario 1 are presented in Table 4. For this scenario, the UTT system sent a status report every 24 hours. The status report included two key pieces of information: the trailer's current location and the cargo status.
Table 4: Scenario 1 – Trailer Terminal Configuration
|Position reporting interval||Once per day|
|Preset wake interval||2 hours|
|Trailer ID, Type, Standard Carrier Alpha Code (SCAC)||User-defined|
|Connections and disconnections||Enable|
|Cargo check interval||30 minutes|
|Cargo-event messaging||Send immediately|
|Cargo validation interval||10 minutes|
|Cargo validation rechecks||3|
|Geo-fence messaging||Send immediately|
|Geo-fence check interval||1 hour|
|Geo-fence center position||User-defined|
There are two types of configurable intervals: wakeup and validation. Wakeup intervals are defined as an interval that the UTT system wakes up and checks for a variety of events.
- Preset Wakeup. The UTT system wakes up to check whether there are any new incoming messages to process. For this scenario, this interval was set to every 2 hours.
- Cargo Check. The UTT system wakes up to check if the cargo status has changed. For this scenario, this interval was set to every 30 minutes.
- Geo-fence Check. The UTT system wakes up to check whether a geo-fence has been breached. For this scenario, this interval was set to every hour.
Validation intervals are defined as an interval that the UTT system uses to ensure that a state change has actually occurred.
- Cargo Validation Interval. If a cargo reading indicates that a state is not the same as the previous state, the UTT system will perform a recheck after waiting the pre-defined interval. This is done to minimize false positive state changes. For this scenario, the pre-defined interval was set to 10 minutes.
- Cargo Validation Rechecks. If a cargo reading indicates that a state is not the same as the previous state, the recheck may be configured to repeat a number of times before sending a message about the state change. For this scenario, the recheck was set to three times.
For this scenario, the UTT system checked on the cargo status every 30 minutes and, following the initial status check, did three validation rechecks every 10 minutes. The rechecks only occur when the initial status check indicates that a change of state has occurred.
The UTT system also provides an on-board geo-fence with event-driven exception reporting. In this scenario, exception-driven reporting allowed the UTT system to monitor trailer position and check for geo-fence breaks every hour, but sent a message only if a geo-fence break was detected. Frequent checking for geo-fence breaks without sending frequent messages lowers messaging costs and increases battery life.
Connection and disconnection information does not include validation intervals. When the tractor-based mobile communications system detects a trailer connection or disconnection, it sends a message via the 7-way connector interface to the NOC. The NOC then forwards the event to the UTT system's TrailerTRACS Web application, alerting the dispatcher of the connection or disconnection. For disconnections, an alert is generated. The dispatcher uses the TrailerTRACS Web application to determine if the disconnection was at a valid location, as well as to determine if the cargo status is "not empty" for the applicable trailer.
4.3.4 Logical Architecture and Operational Flow
The architecture and operational flow of information between technologies used in Scenario 1 are shown in Figure 13.
Figure 13: Scenario 1 — Logical Architecture and Operational Flow
4.3.5 Daily Operations
This section describes the daily operational procedures that the participants were asked to perform as part of the pilot test.
Daily Operational Procedures
The dispatcher logs onto the UTT system host application in preparation for dispatching drivers to pick up trailers and loads.
- The dispatcher clicks on the "Find Trailer" tab to search for data:
- Specific trailer location
- Trailers based on cargo status (empty/full)
- Trailers near a specific landmark
- All trailers
- The dispatcher assigns a driver to a trailer pickup by creating a load assignment/pickup macro instructing the driver where to pickup the next trailer and load.
- The satellite-based mobile communications messaging system is used to send the message to the driver.
The driver arrives at a trailer pickup location and the tractor is attached to the assigned trailer:
- The satellite-based mobile communications terminal detects the connection via the 7-way connector interface to the UTT terminal connected to the tractor.
- The satellite-based mobile communications terminal sends a connection message to the NOC.
- The NOC forwards the event to the UTT system host application, alerting the dispatcher of the trailer connection event.
- The dispatcher verifies that the trailer is connected to the assigned tractor.
Monitoring Trailer(s) En Route
When ready to depart for the destination, the driver sends a "departing macro" to the dispatcher via the satellite-based mobile communications satellite system.
Two mechanisms exist for monitoring the trailer while it is en route:
- Trailer positioning (default position interval is one position per day):
- If the trailer is pulled by a tractor not equipped with a satellite-based mobile communications terminal or the satellite-based mobile communications terminal is not functioning, the dispatcher monitors the trailer's location using the UTT system via the UTT system host application.
- The dispatcher modifies the trailer terminal's positioning frequency to be more frequent than the default (e.g., once per hour or once every 6 hours) while en route.
- The dispatcher enters the setup configuration for a specific trailer to select the positioning frequency parameter.
- The UTT system host application creates a message and sends it to the trailer terminal via the NOC and terrestrial network.
- Tractor positioning:
- If the trailer is being pulled by a tractor equipped with a functioning satellite-based mobile communications terminal, the dispatcher monitors the trailer's location using the satellite-based mobile communications system via the host application.
- The default positioning frequency is once per hour. If the dispatcher needs more frequent positioning, the Mobile Initiated Position Report (MIPR) parameter is modified on the tractor terminal.
Detecting and Disconnecting Trailer(s)
The driver arrives at the destination and disconnects the trailer from the tractor at the designated location:
- The satellite-based mobile communications terminal detects that the UTT terminal is no longer connected and sends a disconnection message to the NOC.
- The NOC forwards the disconnection event to the UTT system host application and alerts the dispatcher regarding the trailer disconnection event.
- The dispatcher verifies that the trailer has been disconnected in an authorized drop location.
Geo-fencing Disconnected Trailer(s)
When the dispatcher receives an alert that a non-empty trailer has been dropped at an authorized location, the dispatcher creates a geo-fence to surround the disconnected trailer:
- The dispatcher uses the UTT system host application to create or edit a geo-fence.
- The dispatcher selects the center point for the geo-fence (self-centered, landmark, or latitude/longitude), the east/west and north/south lengths, the geo-fence start/stop time, the enable geo-fence flag, the geo-fence wakeup interval, and the type of geo-fence (exit/enter).
- The UTT system host application generates a message with the updated information and sends it to the trailer terminal via the NOC and the terrestrial network to the trailer terminal.
- An "electronic fence" is set around the trailer, which is monitored by the UTT terminal, based on its configuration.
- Using the UTT system host application, the dispatcher has the option to view the geo-fence on a map.
The following security alert was featured in this scenario:
- Trailer disconnection with a not empty load
- Untethered trailer leaves or enters a geo-fenced area
Disconnection with a "Not Empty" Load Alert
The driver disconnects the trailer in the consignee's yard with a load that is awaiting offload:
- The tractor terminal sends a disconnection message as described in the "Trailer arrives at destination" steps above.
- The UTT system host application receives a disconnection message and generates an alert to the dispatcher.
- The dispatcher uses the trailer-tracking host application to determine if the cargo status is "not empty" on the applicable trailer.
Untethered Trailer Geo-fence Alert
- The driver disconnects the trailer in the consignee's yard and sets a valid geo-fence.
- The trailer terminal wakes up based on the customer configurable setting – every hour – to determine if a geo-fence violation has occurred.
- If the trailer has left the geo-fenced area, the trailer terminal sends a geo-fence violation alert to the dispatcher.
4.3.7 Physical Architecture
The physical architecture for Scenario 1 is shown in Figure 14.
Figure 14: Scenario 1 — Physical Architecture
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