Extended displays for vehicle tracking

Paul Hewson

Our third update to our Real-Time Vehicle Tracking feature enables you to view vehicle locations outside of Commusoft. Generate tracking view URLs and access via a range of extended displays.

If you are currently using Real-Time Vehicle Tracking, you will already have this update! If you don't yet use our van tracking feature, find out more about this offering here: Real-Time Vehicle Tracking.

Please bear in mind that this feature is only available on the Paperless Office plan and higher. If you are not on this plan, have a chat with our sales team on 0203 0266 266 about upgrading today.

See drivers on additional displays

If you wish to see your engineers' locations on an additional screen, you now can with our extended displays for vehicle tracking (without needing to use a Commusoft login!). This feature works with a monitor or TV connected to a computer, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Chromebit, or a games console like the PS4 or Xbox One, plus it works on mobile too. It allows you to display a map showing the current location of your vehicles, jobs for the day, and their route and ETA to the job they are travelling to.

We designed this feature with customisation in mind, so you can create multiple views - really handy if you have more than one extended display. You are able to select which users, user groups, or user skills are included in that view. So if you have a team in one city and another in a different city, you can utilise two displays to show each group of users separately. The map will automatically zoom and position to fit all of your users (that you chose to include) and jobs on the map at once.

How does it work?

To get started, head over to System Settings > Extended displays for vehicle tracking. You will need to be either a 'Financial office staff' or 'Owner/Manager' security role to access this page. First, you will need to create a tracking view - give it a name and choose who is included.

Tracking view settings page

When you save a new tracking view, a yellow banner will display a short URL (it will look something like this: http://bit.ly/1234567)  - this is how you can access the tracking view.

Should you need to find this URL again, you can return to the settings page and click Edit on the tracking view in question and you will find the URL there.

There are several ways in which you can use these additional tracking views:

Extended display from a computer

Vehicle tracking extended displayFor example, you have an additional monitor or TV in your office, which is connected to a computer/laptop. Open up Chrome on the connected computer and go to the URL provided to view the map and engineer locations. This is advantageous as you do not require a Commusoft login for that computer and you can display your
vehicle tracking on a bigger screen.

Amazon Fire TV Stick

amazon firestickAnother option, which doesn't require a computer, is the Amazon Fire TV Stick. It plugs into a TV to give you access to TV and music streaming apps, smart home devices, websites, Alexa and more. You install install the Firefox browser, then simply visit your tracking URL to access engineer locations on your TV.

Chromebit

chromebitA slightly more expensive and more powerful option, Asus's Chromebit is essentially a USB-stick-sized computer that you can plug into a TV. This allows you to run Google's Chrome OS from your TV and run the Chrome browser, amongst other things. Once you have Chrome up and running on your TV, you just need to visit the tracking URL provided within Commusoft.

Games consoles

games consoles

We realise not every office has a games console in it, however, should you indulge in a little bit of team Call of Duty or Tekken on your lunch break, you can also use it to display vehicle locations. Open up the internet browser on your PS4 or Xbox One, go to the provided short URL and hey-presto,
your games console is now a
vital
piece of business tech.

Mobile

Mobile tracking TVYou can also utilise this feature to view engineer locations on the go. Open up the tracking URL from your smartphone or tablet to get a quick update of where everybody is - even when you're out of this office. As an owner/ manager, this adds new levels of oversight, allowing you to go about your day whilst staying on top of engineers. Please note, if you lock your screen whilst viewing the map, you will need to refresh the page to see the live engineer locations. We've put together some tips for getting the best out of the mobile experience - including using it with Siri.
Find out more here.

Limitations

Designed for viewing

These additional tracking views are only designed for viewing the location of engineers and where they are headed. It is not designed as an interactive diary or map, or for viewing detailed tracking information such as driving speed. With that in mind - you cannot do anything else with this view, including adjusting the map position - it should automatically position itself in order to fit all engineers onto the display.

Should you wish for more in-depth information - you can access this via the diary map view in Commusoft.

Sharing the URL link

When you open the short URL in a browser it will redirect you to the full length URL. Please note however, this URL will not display in your browser's address bar, instead you will see "https://tv.commusoft.co.uk/tv/map-board". You cannot copy and paste this URL into another browser, as it will not work - this protects from somebody gaining access to your tracking URL without permission. To open the tracking view in a new browser, you will need to use the short URL accessed via System Settings, which only one of your Commusoft users could access. You should not share tracking view URLs online or with customers, as this provides access to your vehicles' locations at all times.

For info on how to bookmark the URL for quick access, see our other blog post.

Smart TVs

There's many brands of smart TV, each with different built-in internet browsers and with different components - and we can't test them all. Unfortunately the tracking views have not been compatible with the smart TV's that we have been able to test, likely due to insufficient processing power. Feel free to give it a try with yours though.

Not yet using Real-Time Vehicle Tracking?

Commusoft's Real-Time Vehicle Tracking allows field service businesses to see the live location of vans from within their job management software. You can also access so much more, with vehicle trip history, safe driving data, and the engineer profile portal. This provides an enhanced offering compared to simple GPS systems, by providing a comprehensive solution that links engineer tracking data with your diary, scheduling tools, and job information.

Benefits include:

  • Highly precise location tracking
  • Track your most valuable assets, essential in an emergency
  • Schedule more responsively based on location
  • A full record of driver trips - every journey, every day
  • Insight into vehicle usage outside of work hours
  • Engineer tracking portal for customers
  • Know how drivers treat their vehicle - speeding, mileage, and safe handling data

We've put together a Real-Time Vehicle Tracking brochure with specific details on the different trackers and pricing. Check it out!

Download Brochure

If you're interested in implementing Real-Time Vehicle Tracking and want to learn more about all these amazing benefits - watch our webinar, which covers all the features.van tracking webinar


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