Intelligent tachograph replaces several ECUs

Intelligent tachograph replaces several ECUs

Technology News |
By Christoph Hammerschmidt

In mid-2019, the new Tachograph Regulation (EU) 165/2014 will come into force in the European Union. All newly registered trucks must then have an intelligent digital tachograph on board. And this brings numerous functional enhancements. The connection to a satellite positioning system and the wireless transmission of data during road checks make life easier for freight forwarders and inspectors, and a new encryption system ensures greater security.

The tachograph experts at technology company Continental have long seen much more in the DTCO than just a recording device. “Telematics data can be compared with uncut diamonds. They have great potential, but are often not available in such a trustworthy and authenticated form that business relationships can be built on them,” says Lutz Scholten, head of the Tachographs, Telematics and Services business unit at Continental. The DTCO 4.0 is intended to close this gap because it collects and processes the collected data according to the highest security criteria and can exchange it with authorized third parties.

More security thanks to cryptography

The EU directive requires, among other things, a standardized DSRC interface (Dedicated Short Range Communication). This communication technology is familiar from the V2X application world, but it makes much more possible. Via a small antenna installed on the windscreen, the DTCO 4.0 will in future transmit vehicle and calibration data, information about security breaches and malfunctions that have occurred to control officers’ devices from the moving vehicle during road checks after appropriate authentication. By connecting to a global satellite positioning system (GNSS), the position data are automatically recorded at the start and end of the shift according to further criteria. Increased cryptographic security mechanisms and thus a new encryption technology will also be required in the future.

The DTCO 4.0 replaces several ECUs 
(C) Continental

This new public key encryption system also affects communication between the speed sensor and the digital tachograph. Continental has developed the new KITAS encoder 4.0 for this purpose. Together with the DTCO 4.0, it represents a system unit and meets the very strict legal requirements.

But service providers of the fleets or the authorities can also benefit from the new technical possibilities. With the DTCO 4.0 from Continental, for example, direct toll processing is possible, even with an integrated on-board weighing system. With the integrated DSRC connection, the technical prerequisites have been created for applying country-specific functions for toll billing and toll monitoring in the tachograph. Additional on-board units could thus be omitted. At the same time, the toll can be made fairer if weight data is transmitted at the same time, which is collected by sensors on the axles and sent to the tachograph in encrypted form. In future, the actual axle load would then be decisive for calculating the road toll.

If the secure data from the tachograph is passed on to other data processing systems, many other applications are conceivable. For example, information about the tank content could be determined with safe level sensors and sent to systems of fuel card companies. Apps could use information from the DTCO to guide drivers to a nearby low-cost petrol station or to a car park that can be reached as precisely as possible at the beginning of the rest periods. Another possibility is the provision of data to service providers for business IT purposes. Continental has developed interfaces to enable the exchange of authenticated, trustworthy data from the tachograph. The basic data protection regulation (DSGVO) of the EU was also taken into account during the entire system development. This enables fleet managers and service providers to quickly identify which tachograph data falls under the DSGVO and requires the consent of the driver.

Continental will be presenting the DTCO 4.0 and the associated business opportunities at the IAA Commercial Vehicles.

Related articles:

Safety monitor helps reducing accidents involving commercial vehicles

Digital tachograph offers remote download, improved security

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