OKC company gets ‘smart’ on tractor-trailersPublished: Monday, October 5, 2020 By: Heide Brandes Source: The Journal Record
What is the point of having a smart, technology-based truck if the trailer is still lagging behind?
That was the question that Oklahoma City-based Drōv Technologies asked, leading to the development of a new product that makes a tractor-trailer just as connected and technologically advanced as the truck itself.
With the introduction of this new technology, the company is hoping to revolutionize the trucking industry. Drōv’s AirBoxOne, a comprehensive trailer monitoring system that beams diagnostics to the driver and home office in real time, will be the first monitoring system of its kind on the market.
Going beyond tire pressure monitoring features, AirBoxOne features integrated tire management that inflates and deflates based on load. Additional sensors and cargo cameras detect everything from wheel end temperature and load weight to extreme G-forces and cargo security breaches.
Alerts and notifications are wirelessly communicated to the cab and Cloud, giving truck drivers and the trucking industry freedom from manual checks that are currently the standard in the business.
Now with proof-of-concept wrapping up, Drōv is ready to launch the product into the trucking world.
When Drōv and investors purchased AirGo Systems in 2011, the company had a tire inflation technology product for large tractor-trailers. Four years ago, Drōv took the opportunity to expand that technology into something much more comprehensive.
“We took a look at what was going on in the industry, which was a lot of technology being poured into the truck, but really nothing was being done on the trailer,” said Lisa Mullen, CEO of Drōv Technologies. “But if you’re pulling a dumb trailer, your smart truck isn’t smart. We took that opportunity to really expand into a technology company.
At first, Drōv had the concept of inflating and deflating the tires based on the load on the vehicle. When Drōv hired Peter Janakowski as its chief technology officer, he saw an opportunity to connect not only the tire sensors, but everything else possible on a truck trailer.
“When Pete came on board, we started thinking, ‘Well, if you’re going to inflate and deflate electronically, let’s connect to the rest of the sensors that are available in the market, or that would make this a smart truck,” Mullen said. “So the goal is that this trailer becomes smart, and together (with the cab), this connected vehicle is the safest and smartest thing out there.”
AirBoxOne connects other smart components on the trailer and aggregates the information into one place, which can be accessed through software or a mobile app.
Many of the components also connect via Bluetooth and the pack itself is powered by solar panels that are attached to the