A fleet-tracking company's new plug-and-play vehicle-monitoring device delivers detailed engine-use and driver-behavior reports to a cloud server and at lower costs than the competition.

“I’ve seen a 25% increase in labor productivity and a 25% decrease in fuel consumption since using the device,” says Chris Parisis, president of CG Appliances, San Francisco. He says he chose Azuga’s G2 vehicle-tracking technology because it was plug-and-play.

“A lot of our workers lease trucks. [Using the G2] we don’t have to spend $750 installing a vehicle-monitoring device on every one,” he says. The device plugs into a vehicle’s OBDII port under the steering column and is small enough to be unobtrusive, says Ananth Rani, vice president of the San Jose, Calif.-based Azuga. “You can install the device in seconds, and it only costs 70 cents per day per vehicle,” says Rani. “It has a lifetime warranty and no contract terms.”

Rani says all these offerings, including the ease of installation and low cost, are industry firsts. Fleet managers, he adds, are looking for a solution to accurately calculate truck idling times, to avoid the Environmental Protection Agency’s anti-idling fines, which range from $52 to $32,000, depending on the state.

“Traditional GPS systems infer idling based on infrequent GPS signals and less accurate GPS speed and ignition sensing,” adds Rani. The G2 gets all this information directly from the engine’s onboard computer and makes it available via its cloud service on any internet-capable device.

Rani notes that most similar services charge $35 a day and a steep termination fee, whereas Azuga’s service costs $25 a day per vehicle, offers a free, 30-day trial and operates on a month-to-month service arrangement. He says Azuga can offer lower rates because it has low overhead and because its parent company, Danlaw Inc., Detroit, which makes the device, “is selling it in very high volumes in the insurance industry, lowering cost per unit.”