Fighting Fuel theft at Truck Stops
Fleetboard Fuel Monitor tackles a phenomenon that's on the news regularly: Fuel theft at truck stops. According to industry experts, theft of goods from trucks – including fuel – it costs the industry more than one hundred million Euros per year. And that's just the figure for Germany.
Fuel Monitor will fight that. In our first approach we had the idea to create a new tool, which will prevent fuel theft by monitoring vehicles with the help of various technical aids such as additional sensors or cameras, installed directly on the truck. As soon as a theft is detected, an alarm is sent automatically to the fleet manager's 'dashboard'.
Talking to Customers and Partners
After presenting the idea for the first time within an Elevator Pitch at a press event in Munich, we’ve set up a small, agile swarm team. This team spent four weeks looking further into the idea. They checked the potential for its implementation with other business units of Daimler Trucks as well as with more than 20 customers from five different countries and developed an initial prototype and a business plan.
We found out that the customers’ perspective is this: They are very interested in a tool that prevents fuel theft, but they are not willing to invest into any additional hardware. We also discovered that customers, as a first step, would like to have some sort of oversight system that can report irregularities relating to fuel levels.
From the hardware idea to a purely digital solution
Due to the feedback we got, our project team reworked its original approach of providing a solution based on hardware. Instead, we now focus on a purely digital solution that requires a lower level of investment and only limited work at the customer's end. It’s a win-win for everyone: the solution is more attractive and can be implemented more quickly.
The first specific step is a "Fuel Report": This involves an evaluation of data to reveal and highlight anomalies, for instance a fuel level that is too low when consumption has also been low. To cope with this, we are developing a big data solution capable of comparing existing data relating to fill levels, consumption, and average speed of a truck with anomalies that may arise with respect to the tank fill level or fuel consumption.
On the basis of further customer feedback, we are currently finalizing a second version of Fuel Monitor. The goal is to implement a version by the end of the year, which will be integrated into our existing system. So, fuel thieves better beware!