Black box will keep driver and bus in check
The VDO Fleet Manager 200 Plus.
A LITTLE black box may help reduce the number of accidents involving express buses or other commercial vehicles.
The device, called the VDO Fleet Manager 200 Plus, is manufactured by Siemens and distributed locally by Telematics Mukaya Sdn Bhd.
"It is similar to the black box in an airplane," said Telematics Mukaya Sdn Bhd business development vice-president R. Rejenikanthen.
"The equipment can keep track of a vehicle and withstand even the most devastating of crashes.
"It is connected to a control centre which can monitor and immobilise a vehicle," he said.
"Besides tracking the vehicle via Global Positioning System (GPS) or a cellular triangulation platform, the company can also perform mechanical diagnostics based on information the onboard computer gathers.
"But perhaps the most effective accident prevention feature of the system is the data it can provide on the driver’s behaviour."
If a driver brakes or accelerates suddenly, speeds, over-revs or sways in and out of his lane, a loud buzzer in the vehicle cabin will go off to warn him and the control centre will also be alerted.
The supervisor at the control centre can take the necessary action which includes slowing down the vehicle or even stopping it.
Rejenikanthen said that should an accident occur, the black box, which is the size of a video cassette, would provide a second-by-second analysis of the crash.
"Basically, accidents occur due to either human or mechanical errors and this system monitors both."
Fast rewind 10 years ago:
Saturday, April 5, 1997
Checks on Puspakom centres
KUALA LUMPUR: The Road Transport Department (JPJ) and police will conduct surprise checks on Puspakom centres nationwide following allegations of bribery.
Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ling Liong Sik said the authorities might send an unfit bus for inspection, pretend to bribe Puspakom officials and then check whether the vehicle received approval.
Bus operators had accused Puspakom officials of accepting bribes to allow unfit commercial vehicles to go uninspected, Dr Ling told reporters after a dialogue with the Pan Malaysian Bus Operators Association.
Under Section 66A of Road Transport Act 1987, commercial vehicles have to be sent for mandatory six-monthly inspections at Puspakom centres.
The association also disclosed that many vehicles were not sent for inspection, he said.
Dr Ling said that allegations of corruption among Puspakom officials should not arise as it had just spent millions on computerising its facilities.
He said the ministry viewed the allegations seriously as the safety of passengers and road users would be endangered if the vehicles were passed without checks.
Dr Ling also said that the bus operators were receptive to fixing a monitoring system on board their vehicles.
"The Vehicle Speed Monitoring (VSM) system will act like a 'black box' to monitor the speed of the bus," he said, adding that a Canadian-Malaysian company responsible for making the device was now setting up manufacturing facilities.
"We will implement this system once the devices are ready by the end of this year and the ministry has proposed that offenders risk a RM1,000 fine or three months' jail," he said.
After a meeting with officials from the the Customs Department, the Port Klang authorities, and the Freight Forwarders Association of Port Klang at his office later, Dr Ling said the Transport Ministry was confident Port Klang could be one of the world's 10 largest ports by 2000.
"If we can bring back our own goods to Port Klang, we can accelerate load centering at the port so that we can achieve this status at a much quicker pace," he said.
The port is now ranked 26th in the world.
Dr Ling said the association would submit a report within the next three weeks on the additional measures that could be taken by the Government, port authorities and freight forwarders to improve Port Klang's capacity.
He said the improvement in Port Klang's status would be a catalyst to the shipping industry's growth in the country including shipbuilding, repairs, banking and insurance.
Malaysia mudah lupa. Even more for the black book.