Ewan has been editor of Retreading Business since 2006 and of Tyre & Rubber Recycling since the magazine was founded. During this period he has become an expert on the global tyre recycling sector. He has many years' experience as an automotive journalist including a period at Tyres & Accessories.
Verified Inspection App from Continental Improves Safety
With the app Verified Inspection, Continental is launching a system on the European market that facilitates the correct handling and archiving of departure control checks for commercial vehicles via a smartphone app.
Continental Looks to Smartphone App to Increases Transparency and Efficiency
Continental Verified Inspection offers seamless and simple processes for managing compliance. Also, it offers plannable and cost-effective management of defects to ensure higher productivity of a commercial vehicle fleet. 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.
This system has already been proven and patented in the USA. The experts for tachographs and commercial vehicle fleets from Continental’s Connected Commercial Vehicle Solutions business segment adapted it for the European market. "Continental Verified Inspection supports fleets in complying with applicable obligations – digitally and automatically,” says Ismail Dagli, head of the Smart Mobility business area at Continental. "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."
Digital solution enables any fleet to individualise testing processes
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 from country to country 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 an NFC tag for vehicle identification, up to ten individually placeable tags for the inspection process, and an easy-to-use smartphone app for the driver's acceptance and archiving of the vehicle’s condition on the day in question.
The driver can begin his or her checking procedure after logging into the app and automatically select the vehicle by scanning a unique identification tag. The app records that each inspection tag is included in the check and registers how much time he or she has spent on each section of the vehicle inspection. “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,” explains Timo Ketterer, Head of Service Product Management in the business segment Connected Commercial Vehicle Solutions. 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. Even other workflows can be included, like the recording of operators working time.
Transparency and efficiency for workshop processes
Continental Verified Inspection makes departure checks transparent and enables 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.