Control of animal transport over long distances is a big problem in the EU. The European Commission has taken a number of actions for ensuring appropriate conditions for such operations. One of the most important documents is Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 of 22 December 2004 on the protection of animals during transport. The document sets out the guidelines on how to transport the animals, and introduces the obligation to use satellite navigation systems by those livestock transport companies who provide long term transports (above 8 hours). However, according to studies, most of the companies do not fully utilize the potential and possibilities given by such systems.
To meet the requirements of the European Union, Hertz Systems developed the livestock monitoring system that allows real time monitoring of such transports. The solution can be integrated with other vehicle subsystems and transport information such as fuel consumption, temperature conditions, water level control etc.
Market analysis has shown, that there is a need for a system dedicated specifically to livestock monitoring during transport. In addition to basic functions as included in regular fleet monitoring systems, sensors mounted within the truck will allow to monitor the welfare of the animals, a related journey log reporting module will generate the required transport reports faster and easier, the connection with other vehicles systems will allow additional functionalities supporting the reduction of fuel consumptions as well as better route planning. All these features are intended to reduce operational cost of the transport companies. The analysis showed that companies are very interested in a system which meets all their quality requirements and offers additional functions allowing the reduction of costs arising from the vehicle exploitation.
Users and their needs
As the system is dedicated to livestock monitoring, main users will be companies transporting animals, especially those who provide long-term transports (over 8hrs).
Basic functionalities of the system were the result of mandatory requirements, that the system must fulfil. These requirements were specified directly within legal documents and are presented below:
- Monitoring of current location of the vehicle
- Monitoring of current animal compartment temperature
- Monitoring of a vehicle backdoor status
- Automatic alerting in case of events defined as hazardous / unwanted
- Accessing historical data
- Generating reports on the parameters such as the traveled distance, journey time, temperature, etc. (journey logs)
Beside the mandatory requirements introduced by European and national animal transport regulations, user needs were collected through workshops and through surveys distributed among livestock transport companies.
The functionality chosen for implementation is an outcome of such discussions with potential customers was:
- Acid resistant and IP67 sensors - Companies indicated that they see a strong need to improve the quality of currently used sensors, as they have too low resistance to cleaning chemicals and therefore they usually last for a few months only. The system’s sensors should assure at least a 1 year maintenance free operation in the livestock trailer.
Other collected user needs were classified as optional system functionalities, which will be implemented over time and according to the requirements of the individual customers. The functionalities which were most wanted by the users are the following:
- User interface in the cabin of the truck driver – a tablet or smartphone application – to display information directly to the driver and/or to control the system remotely during the journey
- Integration with the digital tachograph enabling checks if the navigation data is compliant with the tachograph data
- Electronic animal identification using a system based on RFID tags - the ability to monitor the number of animals in the vehicle
- Eco-driving – monitoring of the driving style
- Monitoring of drinking water level for the animals
- Reading data from CAN-bus module (e.g. load weight monitoring, fuel consumption)
- Driver personalization
The system is ready for further implementation of selected optional features. It is planned to be tailored to individual customer needs. Therefore each client will be able to choose the basic system fulfilling law requirements or the set of optional functionalities that best suits his needs.
Any changes in European or national regulations regarding livestock transport will be monitored and, if required, system functions will be updated or extended to fulfil new law requirements.
Service/ system concept
The offer includes a complete service package including a variety of information services, e.g. vehicle location information, vehicle/ trailer parameters monitoring and reporting, basic alarm functionality, basic report generation, on-line access to data, historical data access, as well as the installation of the monitoring system in the trucks.
The Livestock Transport Monitoring system is composed of the following elements:
- Monitoring devices on board of the trucks including various sensors to control the compliance of the livestock transport environment with transport legislation
- Communication device to allow real-time information exchange between the vehicle and the transport logistics centre
- IT infrastructure collecting and processing the data
- A web browser user interface.
Space Added Value
Space added value within the project involve the use of 2 space assets, which are fundamental for the success of the services: Satellite navigation and Satellite communication. Thank to those assets it is possible to:
- localize the position of the vehicle in real time
- online monitoring of crucial vehicle parameters and alerts
- real time transmission of data between the vehicle and control centre
- get online access to current vehicle documents (often needed during veterinary controls).
The activity has been carried out from March 2014 until September 2015 as part of ESA’s “Polish Industry Incentive Scheme”. It was implemented under ESA’s “Integrated Applications Promotion (IAP)” programme.
The Final Review took place in September 2015. The system and service have been designed. A prototype of the system has been built and tested; laboratory and real world tests were passed successfully. The system is ready for the operational mode.
The next activities related to LMS will focus on system and service promotion and building awareness, that such a dedicated and tailored system exists on the market.