The winner of the Galileo Masters GNSS Living Lab Prize 2017, Callwise Ltd. developed an application that allows for tracking and restricting access to certain areas for heavy goods vehicles. Ultimately, this increases security in public areas, fuel efficiency by route optimisation and real-time monitoring of locations.
Ines Kühnert (IK), Galileo Masters` project manager, interviews Dr. Roland Weesie (RW), Director of Callwise Ltd.
IK: Please give us a sneak peek of your product and the team behind it
RW: Our product consists of a vehicle tracking and monitoring app which can trigger a speed limiter device installed on the vehicle if the vehicle deviates from a predefined set route. The predefined route can be set by defining a geofencing area on the map in our application. This will effectively restrict the areas that a heavy goods vehicle or van can enter and ensures that the vehicle cannot be used for terrorist activities. The real-time location of the vehicle can be monitored using a combination of GNSS satellite and conventional cellular tracking.
In addition to the safety aspect our solution offers a number of other benefits such as sending out alerts when the cargo doors or fuel cap is opened/closed which is important to avoid theft of transported goods and/or fuel. It can also monitor a series of other parameters such as fuel consumption and speed of the vehicle which will allow for live route optimisations.
The initial development and subsequent implementation of the solution was a pure family initiative with the team consisting of an enthusiastic and dedicated father -working as an external IT consultant for mobile satellite communication company Inmarsat- supported by two grammar school daughters. In this way expertise and enthusiasm from different areas (GNSS satellite tracking technology, software application and product development) was combined to deliver the best possible solution.
IK: What has been your company’s biggest challenge so far?
RW: Our biggest challenge has been to get the attention of truck and van manufacturers to consider the implementation of our solution in the manufacturing process of new vans and heavy goods vehicles.
IK: How and when did the idea for your solution emerge?
RW: Our idea emerged following a series of high profile terrorist attacks in which heavy goods vehicles and vans were used to drive into large crowds in city centres with the aim to inflict maximum damage to people. I think we all remember the terrorist attacks in Nice and Berlin in 2016 during which 98 people were killed and several more were injured. Then in 2017 the world was shocked by similar attacks in Stockholm and Barcelona during which a heavy goods vehicle and stolen van were deliberately driven at crowds in busy shopping areas.
IK: What convinced you to enter the Living Lab Prize challenge with your business case?
RW: We felt the need to further develop our idea and turn it into a solution because it could make a true difference to our society by providing an extra level of safety and security. We thought the GNSS Living Lab Challenge of the Galileo Masters provided the best platform to test, evaluate and improve our solution.
IK: How did the Galileo Masters help to boost your business case?
RW: Galileo Masters provided a significant boost to our business case thanks to several factors:
- Publication of our solution provided an enormous PR boost and enabled us to bring our solution to the attention of car manufacturers and local governments
- Help and assistance from two expert partners with useful advice and contacts in the industry
- Financial support which we used to purchase equipment and set up a marketing campaign
IK: Let’s reach for the stars – what do you plan for your business case in the future?
RW: Our ultimate objective is to integrate our solution as standard technology on every new truck and van that rolls off the assembly line at the manufacturing plant.
Did you enjoy this interview with this outstanding innovator? Stay tuned for upcoming interviews with Galileo Masters innovators on our AZO Blog.