1 Paper Reference No.: PN-10 6 th Annual African Conference & Exhibition on Geospatial Information, Technology & Applications, Africa Geospatial Form 2011 Theme: Enabling Socio-Economic Development through Geospatial Web-Based Vehicle Tracking System for Sugarcane Trucks Management in Gunied Scheme (Sudan) A. F. Kheiralla 1, Eltaib Ganawa 2, Ragi Osman 1, Obada Nafae 1, Mujahid Abdelmoneim 1 1 Department of Agricultural Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Khartoum, Khartoum, Sudan (Tel: ; 2 Department of GIS, Faculty of Geography and Environmental Science, University of Khartoum, Khartoum, Sudan (Tel: ; Abstract: Modern agricultural production continues to become more technology driven with greater use of IT and GPS/GIS. Sugarcane production is mostly focused in Sudan as backed up by large investments in new sugarcane schemes. Harvesting and hauling sugarcane is massive task. Across Kenana, Assalaya, Sennar, New Halfa and Gunied schemes, sugarcane production is more than 7.5 million tons and required hauling for 200 days of a year and distances ranging from 5 to 25 km to factory for each trip. Furthermore, harvesting and hauling efficiency is very important because sugar quality and content reduces over time taken between harvesting the sugarcane and getting it to the factory should be less than 16 hours. Consequently, sugarcane trucks management for hauling was very difficult, because they faced many managerial problems. This study work explores a commercial web-based Vehicle Tracking System (VTS) for hauling and transportation of sugarcane in Gunied scheme. The proposed system hardware included GPS, GSM/GPRS and a cyber monitoring station. The GPS was used to determined exact location, speed, and direction in addition to the other features of the software such as live vision fuel monitoring, ignition, doors, AV communication, circuit breaker, SMS reports, history analysis, trip analysis, tyre management, driver evaluation and fleet maintenance, while (GSM/GPRS) operator (SIM card) was used to send the information to the monitoring center. The cyber station links the data coming from the device and represent on an option of choice between roads and fields. Base maps and satellite images of the study area used to show the exact locations for each truck moving inside the area. The web-based vehicle tracking system has been successfully tested on-house to ensure that the system have a sustainable signal in urban areas as in Khartoum city, on-road as in the road between Khartoum and Gunied, and on-field scheme that represents the rural area where its most likely to lose signals. With this web-based VTS, the scheme can manage the fleet of trucks resources and consequently will benefit company in many aspects such as reliable data flow, enhanced fleet control, better decision making, increase productivity and lesser complaints. Keywords: Sugar industry; Vehicle Tracking System; GPS; GSM/GPRS; Fleet management 1. INTODUCTION Information technology (IT) and related spatial technology have dominated the recent technological advancements in agricultural vehicles. On-board computers and electronics are destined to widely populate agricultural vehicles cabs. Sophisticated operator interfaces, precision agriculture technologies, and controller networks are the advances which are most emphasized in the agricultural media 1. Precision agriculture is gaining popularity largely due to the introduction of these high technology tools into the agro-industry that are more accurate, cost effective and user friendly. Global Positioning System (GPS) equipment manufacturers have developed several tools to help agroindustry become more productive and efficient in their precision agriculture activities. Today many agro-industry schemes use the GPS vehicle tracking, GPS assess tracking and GPS based applications to enhance operations in their agricultural activities bringing agriculture to digital information age.
2 Broadly defined, Vehicle Tracking System (VTS) is an electronic device installed in a vehicle to enable the owner or a third party to track the vehicle's location. Most modern vehicle tracking systems use Global Positioning System (GPS) modules for accurate location of the vehicle. Many systems also combine a communications component such as cellular or satellite transmitters (GSM/GPRS) to communicate the vehicle s location to a remote user. Vehicle information can be viewed on electronic maps via the Internet or specialized software. Several types of Vehicle Tracking devices exist. Typically they are classified as Passive and Active. Passive devices store GPS location, speed, heading and sometimes a trigger event such as key on/off, door open/closed. Once the vehicle returns to a predetermined point, the device is removed and the data downloaded to a computer for evaluation. Passive systems include auto download type that transfer data via wireless download. Active devices also collect the same information but usually transmit the data in real-time via cellular or satellite networks to a computer or data center for evaluation. Many modern vehicle tracking devices combine both active and passive tracking abilities: when cellular network is available and a tracking device is connected it transmits data to a server; when network is not available the device stores data in internal memory and will transmit stored data to the server later when the network becomes available again 2,3. Many vehicle systems that are in use now days are some form of Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL). It is a concept for determining the geographic location of a vehicle and transmitting this information to a remotely located server. The location is determined using GPS and transmission mechanism could be a satellite, terrestrial radio or cellular connection from the vehicle to a radio receiver, satellite or nearby cell tower. Other options for determining actual location, for example in environments where GPS illumination is poor, are dead reckoning, i.e. inertial navigation or active radio frequency identification (RFID) systems or cooperative Real-time Locating systems (RTLS). After capture, the tracking data can be transmitted using any choice of telemetry or wireless communications systems. GSM is the most common used service for this purpose 2,3. Historically, the roots of Vehicle Tracking System (VTS) lie in shipping industry. When large fleet of vehicles were spread out over the vast expanses of ocean, the owner corporations often found it difficult to keep track of what was happening. They required some sort of system to determine where each vehicle was at any given time and for how long it travelled. The need of vehicle tracking in consumer s vehicle rose to prevent any kind of theft because Police can use tracking reports to locate stolen vehicle 2,3. Numerous numbers of tracking systems had so far been developed by many institutions involved in the public transportation and logistics in the past few years. However, introduction of these technologies is still a relatively new concept in sugarcane industry. Much of the work done in Australia in spatial information technology and VTS applications in sugarcane production have been much more targeted at issues associated with harvest management than PA [4,5], such technology along with GPS harvester tracking, logging of harvester performance, electronic consignment and GIS based data management has left the industry well placed to integrate PA into existing systems. A number of sugar mills had, or are currently developing integrated cane harvest management systems to facilitate marketing, logistics, planning mill starts dates, cane transport arrangements and harvest groups` loadings and harvesting schedules on a daily bases. Johnson and Alvarez  reviewed on the Florida sugar industry technologies and trends. They pointed out the AVL tracking had greatly enhanced truck distribution to harvested field. It had improved delivery efficiency 13% by guiding and direction the cane hauling trucks to avoid gaps at the harvesting time. Ortmann  reviewed on the use of information technology in South African agriculture. He mentioned that many farmers have installed satellite tracking systems in their vehicle to counteract the high incidence of vehicle theft in South Africa and some agribusiness firms (e.g. the Kumati sugar mill in Mpumalanga province) are benefiting from vehicle identification and tracking technology controls the movement, quality and quantity of the product being delivered. Modern agricultural production continues to become more technology driven with greater use of IT and GPS/GIS. Sugarcane production is mostly focused in Sudan as backed up by large investments in new sugarcane schemes. Harvesting and hauling sugarcane is massive task. Across Kenana,
3 Assalaya, Sennar, NewHalfa and Gunied schemes, sugarcane production is more than 7.5 million tons and required hauling for 200 days of a year and distances ranging from 5 to 25 km to factory. Furthermore, harvesting and hauling efficiency is very important because sugar quality and content reduces over time taken between harvesting the sugarcane and getting it to the factory should be less than 16 hours. Consequently, vehicle fleet management for hauling was very difficult, because they faced many managerial problems like the irregularities in cane delivery to the factory caused by old style of communication, traffic jams, misconduct of the personnel, and poor supervision of the fleet logistics. All activities related to the sugar industry such as sugar cane hauling and transportation do not need only an update but also need accurate information recording and monitoring. Due to the vast numbers of vehicle and equipments in Gunied scheme, and the enormous area of the project, besides few negative practices and phenomena appeared on the surface such as the tyres replacing, fuel extraction from the vehicles...etc. The drivers find the time window to perform those acts, while being away from the monitoring zone of the times keepers and supervisors i.e. the agricultural processes, transporting the cane from the field to the factory. The administration in its efforts to eradicate those practices they adopt the monitoring system of vehicle using new technologies. They start by the AVL and VTS but it didn t give any additional information about the vehicle rather than the speed, direction and location. The administration needed more vital data about the fleet management. This introduced the company to the concept of fleet management, which in addition to the basic data (speed, location and direction). This system empower the administration by giving them extra data and make fleet management an easy thing to asset managing applications that deals with vehicle financing and maintenance, fuel management. The main objective of this study work is to investigate Vehicle Tracking System for managing and monitoring transportation of sugar cane vehicles fleet at Gunied Scheme. The work involved: To conducting extensive review of various VTS available. To select a suitable and appropriate commercial VTS to be proposed for Gunied Scheme. To conduct function testing and evaluation of the proposed system based on recording and monitoring of vehicles and valuable cargo included vehicle's number, vehicle's plate number, driver's name, driver's cell phone number, alarm, GPS location and date, SIM number of device and descriptions of vehicle status (description, stop/move, and speed). 2. MATERIALS AND METHODS 2.1. Study Area Genied sugar Scheme is located 120 km South East of Khartoum on the eastern bank of the Blue Nile near Rufa`a, with an estimated area of hectares stretching from Alhilia at North, to Tanbol at East and South of Rufa`a city and the area within the agricultural cycle amounting to hectares. The scheme area is included canals and villages. The scheme is followed a six-course farming, besides 2512 farmers working in agriculture who are owned 8190 hectares with an average cane yield tons per hectare. Fig. 1 illustrates Gunied scheme location and its satellite image from the space. One of the set backs in the scheme was that the plots didn t have an equal distance to the factory taking in a consideration that the nearest plot land is 3 km and the farthest one is 20 km away from the factory. This problem introduced the scheme to the theft of fuel and tyres by the drivers regardless of the losses due to the time intervals between the cutting of the canes till the time it reach the factory to be crushed. The longest time it takes the more losses in the sugar contents in the canes Approach Fleet Management deployed is an important tool which identifies a vehicle with regard to its geographic position. GPS tracking technology is the standard in fleet management. Corporations with large fleets of vehicles require some sort of system to determine where each vehicle is at any given time. Vehicle tracking systems can be used for route analysis, reporting, vehicle theft prevention, linking inventory with the workshop and maintenance, and fuel management. All this will increase the
4 fleet management efficiency. The VTS for hauling sugarcane from areas to the factory mills was considered one of the important phases in the implementation and adoption of GIS, GPS, RS and related precision technologies in Sudanese sugar industry initiative program. Fig. 2 illustrates the proposed web based VTS for managing and monitoring transportation of sugar cane vehicles fleet at Gunied Scheme. The main criteria for the proposed web based vehicle tracing system as follows: Easy to handle. High response and utilization. Suitable for the Sudanese environment. Confidentiality of information. Low cost with high quality. Long lasting and durability. After sale services Selection of VTS Comprehensive search and personal communications were carried out on the local markets and internet websites to select a suitable VTS to be implemented in sugarcane transportation and hauling, and tracks fleet management. The web based Telematics system was chosen from among a variety of other systems. The choice was made based on the previous mentioned criteria, in addition to the initial cost, operating cost and after sale s services. Table 1 illustrates the comparison aspects between various accessible VTS systems Table 1: Comparison aspects between various accessible VTS systems Device and system Initial cost Operating cost After sale services GPS Hunter 1500$ based station $ per TXT none (closed system) 400$ per unit massage Wi- max +400,000 $ per hectare None none (closed system) RFID +100,000$ per hectare None None (Closed system) Telematics 350 $ per unit 15.6$ per month Technical support, (Web based) repairing, training and installations 2.4. Description of Web-Based VTS The selected vehicle tracking system hardware and software included vehicle terminal (VT or Enfora spider MT-Gi, GPS with a GSM/GPRS transceiver) and a cyber monitoring station i.e. (the website telematcs-sd.com). The vehicle terminal was connected with the station by a SIM card that s send the data acquired from the GPS to the station using GPRS (Zian or Sudani Sudanese Mobile Telephone company, Ltd). The device is powered by the battery of the vehicle via appropriate wiring. Detail descriptions of system components as follows: GSM 235x MT-Gi Enfora Serial / Power cable Part number CAB2238 Power supply, 12 Vdc, 2 A Computer with one available Serial port or USB-to-serial converter GSM/GPRS SIM with GPRS data enabled. An Access Point Name (APN). Username and Password, if GPRS is operating on a non-transparent network VT Hardware The VT or Enfora spider MT-Gi is a locating device embedded with GSM/GPRS module 8. Fig. 3 depicts Enfora spider MT-Gi device front and back view. Detail descriptions of vehicle terminal are presented in Table 2.
5 Fig. 1: Gunied location map and its satellite image from space Fig. 2: A typical proposed vehicle tracking system and various system components
6 Fig. 3: VT SIM Card and power cable sides Table 2: Detail specifications description of vehicle terminal of VTS Description Specifications Environmental EMI/EMC FCC proved Specifications Operating Temperature Range - 30 o C to + 80 o C Storage Temperature Range -40 o C to 85 o deg C Humidity Level 95% RH at 38 o C Mechanical Vibration SAE J1211 Mechanical Specifications Size & material Size: 64 x 64 x 25 mm Type of Body: plastic enclosure Technical Data String Format Customizable GPRS GPRS will be used to send the data. SMS will be used as fall back when GPRS is absent, which will be a configurable option (On/Off) Tracking Interval 1 Min (Configurable) GSM/GPRS Class 10, Device class B, Quad Band (Firmware selectable) Frequency of operation: 850/900/1800/1900 GSM/GPRS/GPS Antennae Type Internal Operating Voltage 7-40 V, Reverse voltage protection, 5 kv peak surge protection Power Consumption 230 ma active, 40 ma idle Firmware SMS/GPRS based configuration of start and stop tracking, device restart, server parameters Power Back Up Optional Alerts - High Speed, Geo-Fencing. Available Tampering to unit, Stolen Vehicle Alert Storage Memory (Flash /NV/RAM) Available Voice Call Available (2.5 mm jack) Display 3 LEDs (for Power on/off Red, two programmable Green (GSM, GPRS) and Blue (GPS) 2.6. Wiring and Mounting of VT The selected tracking system firstly was tested on Toyota Corolla vehicle. The device was hooked to power source at the vehicle s fuses box. After stripping the main three wires, Green wire was linked with the switch fuse and the Black wire serve as earth line was linked with any passive metal object. The Red serve as the fire line was linked with any of the battery electric line fuses. Followed the complete successful wiring, the centre Power on LED was solid red while the user GSM/GPRS LED was solid green and the user GPS LED was solid blue. Fig. 4 shows the wiring of VT device while Fig. 5 depicts VT device s LEDs functionality.
7 Fig. 4: Wiring of VT device inside Bell tractor cab Fig. 5: The VT device s LEDs functionality Upon the successful completion of wiring, the device was mounted in side vehicle s cab label side down. For optimal performance, the device was mounted under the dash with the I/O cable coming out of the unit towards the steering wheel column, so that the bigger GPS antenna null was directed toward the engine compartment. The opposite top side was faced skyward and was kept at least 2 inches away from nearby objects, which could detune the antennas and impact the performance of the device. Nearby metallic objects and surfaces should be avoided for the most negative impact. The device should not being hidden or embedded making sure that the mounting location allowing for a skyward view which is not being blocked by the presence of metallic objects or surfaces. The GPS antenna null was located on the East side of the unit while the I/O connector was facing north Telematics Software Telematics is web based software for vehicle tracking system and fleet management. The local agent of employed software is Telematics Sudan Ltd (Telematics.sd/com). The software allows the client to toggle between the following features of the system in a user friendly interface. The main features of the software include Online Live Monitoring, History Analysis, Generic Reports, Alerts, Trips, Tyre Management, Driver Evaluation, Fleet Maintenance, and Fuel Monitoring (Figs. 6-7). The Online Live Tracking feature would enable the user to track vehicle s current location. The vehicle s position would be displayed on a detailed digital map while the History Analysis feature would enable to replay the historical data for any given period. This would enable the user to re-run the movement of vehicles on the digital map, this would help them to trace the route of the vehicle traversed and show all the other exceptions which occurred story analysis that include the following functionalities: (a) Interactive map showing the position of the vehicles. (b) The selected data displayed within the tracking duration. (c) Display the total distance traveled for the selected period of time. (d) Provided report on the stoppages and speed exceptions. The Generic Reports feature includes Activity Report, Stop Report, Speed Report, Exception Report, Route Deviation Report, Hub Report, And Total Distance Report. The Activity Report would enable display the position of the vehicle as well as stoppage time for any given period. The summary at the end of the report would provide the total distance traveled along with total stoppage time. The system Alerts would pop-up messages for alerts or violations that have occurred. Provision would be given to store all these exceptions in the database so as to generate any exception report. These pop-up data would be stored and necessary reports could be generated. Option is available for forwarding these alerts over as well as SMS. The Alerts feature includes Speed Violation, Hub Arrival and Departure, Route Deviation Alert, Main Battery Disconnection Alert The Tyre Management feature would enable the option to monitor the statues of the tyres attached to vehicle and its condition with the serial number of each tyre while Drive Evalaution feature option would enable a chance to adopt the system of motivation and have the power to see who`s doing the job properly and who don t.
8 Fig. 6: Telematics Software features Fig. 7: Generic reports window and its options The Fleet Maintenance feature is one of the great assets of this software, because it links the inventory of the clients with the workshop needs and consumption of the items. This option is divided into two options the inventory and the workshop. 2.9 Digital Mapping The system has powerful GIS Technology platform for rendering maps and is integrated to various base maps and satellite images sources such as Google, Yahoo, and user map. The system has additional feature to map the points of interest which could be customized as per need basis and also would have access to high-resolution map data. Client could Zoom, Pan, Get info, etc, on the map itself as it is highly interactive and user friendly. 3. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION The web based vehicle tracking system has been successfully selected for sugarcane tracks fleet management in Gunied scheme. The selected Telematics VTS hardware and software included vehicle terminal (MT-Gi, GPS with a GSM/GPRS transceiver) and a cyber monitoring station i.e.( the website telematcs-sd.com). The vehicle terminal was connected with the station by a SIM card that s send the data acquired from the GPS to the station using GPRS. The device is powered by the battery of the vehicle via appropriate wiring. The selected system software had facility to determined exact location, speed, and direction in addition to the other features of the software such as live vision, fuel monitoring, ignition, doors, AV communication, circuit breaker, SMS reports, history analysis, trip analysis, tyre management, driver evaluation and fleet maintenance The selected tracking system has been successfully tested on-house Khartoum capital using Toyota Corolla a private car starting from the Faculty of Engineering, University of Khartoum heading South till Arkweat Avenue then heading North from there to Tuti Island and finishing the test at Buri Avenue. The test was done using the Google hybrid map of Khartoum state which is hibernation between the streets map and the satellite image of the city. The reason behind this test was to ensure the system have an excellent coverage in the urban areas overcoming the signal interference from buildings, power lines and telecommunication towers. Fig. 8 depicts the history analysis of the onhouse test in Khartoum or urban area. Similarly, the second on-road test was carried out to see the coverage of the system on the rural area. This functional test was conducted using same Toyota Corolla private car by travelling from Khartoum to Genied. This test has been successfully completed. There were no sign of disconnection in the signals of the vehicle terminal device while driving. Fig. 9 depicts VTS history analysis of the on-road test from Khartoum to Gunied scheme on the rural area.
9 Similarly, the on-field test was carried out on the actual harsh field environment. This function test was done with South African Bell tractor series 1226 side number 058 with a plate number G government The function test was made by wiring the tractor with the VT device. The test was started from the workshop to the far field and then returned to the workshop. Fig. 10 depicts the history analysis of on-field test at Gunied scheme. Both of the on-road and on-field functional tests were carried out on Figs illutrate results and reports generated and extracted from these tests. Fig. 11 depicts the map of the on-field test`s area while inquiry was made in one of the points recorded. The Travel Report was genrated by the analysis option and from it the 24 hours travel report was chosen. Fig. 12 illustrates the graph pie for the distanced travelled with 4 hours intervals. The Speed Report was genrated by chosing the 24 hours speed report from the analysis window. This report was divided into two main sections the rose tachograph showing the speed (km/hr) relative to the time of the day each line represent the speed at every minute. Fig. 13 displays the rose techograph with the speed and the time. It is very clearly indicating the high vehicle s speed during on-road test while traveling from Khartoum to Gunied between 8 to 9 O clock early morning and returing back between 3 to 4 O clock afternoon. Fig. 14 illustrates the activty report for the day including the time the distance traveled and both stoppage and idle time. This Activity Report summsrized all activity of the VTS. Finally, the rapid expanding external information systems such as tele-communcation infrastrucure, stallatite data transmission experienced in Sudan for last few years are playing an increasing role in valuble source of information system. The cost of gaining access to internat as being very cheap while tele-communcation companies such as, Zain, Sudani, SudaTel and others in the most rural area have good coverage and connections. Furtunaletly, the Gunied scheme was located in the good coverage area. Consequenly, selected web based VTS can manage the fleet of the trucks resources and will benefit itself in many aspects such as reliable data flow, enhanced fleet control, better decision making, increase productivity and lesser complaints..
10 Fig.8. VTS history analysis of the on-house test in the Urban area (Khartoum) Fig. 9: VTS history analysis of the on- road test during traveling from Khartoum to Gunied scheme
11 Fig. 10: VTS History analysis of on-field test at Guneid scheme Fig. 11: The map of the on-field test`s area whiele inquiry was made in one of the points recorded Fig. 12 : The travel pie graph Fig. 13: The rose techograph with speed and time for 24 hours Fig. 14: An activty report including time, distance traveled and both stoppage and idle time 4. CONCLUSIONS The following conclusions could be drawn from the obtained results: A comprehensive literature review on various Vehicle Tracing Systems was presented and discussed. A commercial web-based vehicle tracking system has been successfully selected for transportation and hauling sugarcane in Genied scheme. The selected system hardware consisted of Enfora spider MT-Gi device with internal GPS and GSM/GPRS.
12 The selected system software had facility to determined exact location, speed, and direction in addition to the other features of the software such as live vision, fuel monitoring, ignition, doors, AV communication, circuit breaker, SMS reports, history analysis, trip analysis, tyre management, driver evaluation and fleet maintenance. The selected VTS system has been successfully tested on-house to ensure that the system have a sustainable signal in urban areas as in Khartoum city, on-road as in the road between Khartoum and Gunied, and on-field scheme that represents the rural area where its most likely to lose signal. The unit total cost of the selected VTS was about 350 U$ and monthly running cost of 15 U$. With the existing VTS, the company can manage the fleet of the trucks resources and consequently will benefit itself in many aspects such as reliable data flow, enhanced fleet control, better decision making, increase productivity and lesser complaints. The following recommendations can be suggested based on the obtained results: A complete Gunied scheme's road network and areas GIS database should be linked with existing VTS. Minimum internet speed of 512 kbt based on the fiber optics and DSL broadband should be linked with existing VTS. ACKNOWLEDGMENT The authors are very grateful to Gunied Sugarcane Scheme for supporting this project. Especial appreciation and gratitude are due to General Manager Eng. Ismail Ishag for his valuable suggestions, guidance and patience throughout the project.. REFERENCES 1 schueller J. K. (2002), Advanced mechanical and mechatronic engineering technologies and their potential implementation on mobile agricultural equipment, ASAE Paper No Vehicle Tracking Systems Overview (2011). Online: 3 Muruganandham, P.R.Mukesh (2010). Real Time Web based Vehicle Tracking using GPS. World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology , pp Markley J, Raines A, Crossley R (2003) The development and integration of remote sensing, GIS and data processing tools for effective harvest management. Proceedings of the Australian Society o f Sugar Cane Technologists 25, (CD-ROM). 5 Markley J, Fitzpatrick B (2004) The development of remote sensing sugar cane yield estimation procedures used by Mackay Sugar Cooperative. Proceedings of the 12th Australian Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry Conference, October 2004, Fremantle. (Spatial Sciences Institute: Canberra) (CD-ROM) ISBN Johnson T. P. and Jose F. Alvarez (2004), Tthe Florida sugar industry technologies and trends. Journal American Society Sugar Cane Technologies, Vol. 24(2004), pp Ortmann G. F. (2000) Use of information technology in South African agriculture. Agrekon, Vol. 39, No. 1 (March 2000), pp Enfora Spider MT-Gi Transition Guide (2011), online:
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