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GPS Tracking of Fuel Consumption using the Factory-installed Sensor of the Vehicle

Posted by Viasat Technology on 4 Jan 2017, 17:19:17
Viasat Technology

Did you know that Corporate Telematics Systems can utilise the car’s factory-installed fuel sensor to track fuel consumption?

The main purpose of a Corporate Telematics System is by far not to track fuel consumption, but because of the high price of fuel and its frequent theft, many systems have developed such a feature. The focus of the System has largely been shifted from real-time tracking to fuel consumption tracking and answering the questions:

Is fuel being stolen from my cars?

What is the fuel consumption of transport vehicles in my fleet?

One of the easiest and harmless ways for Corporate Telematics systems to answer the following quesitons is by tracking the fuel consumption through a connection with the car’s own fuel sensor. The factory-installed sensor measures fuel level and calculates the amount of fuel based on float.

How do GPS systems track fuel consumption over the factory-installed sensor of the vehicle?

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The GPS/GPRS tracking device has ports for connecting with the car’s own fuel sensor. The sensor transmits data about fuel level to the GPS/GPRS module. It then transfers the received information using GPRS to a server and then the software on the user side. In this way the user has a method for keeping track of his vehicles’ fuel consumption.

What is more important in this case is that the user can track any fuel theft and generate a detailed report on fuel consumption using the software side of the Corporate Telematics System

In order to be able to track fuel levels in the tank using the factory sensor, there’s one significant little detail. Volume calibration of the reservoir is required. What does that mean?

Because the factory-instlled sensor measures fuel level in volts (V) and the user is interested in the liters present in the tank, a so-called calibration is needed. During the volume calibration of every value measured in volts (V), the value in liters is added (L). In other words, for every level in the reservoir measured in volts (V) there is a corresponding vlaue in liters (L).

What is the precision of measurement when using the factory-installed sensor with the Corporate Telematics System?

The precision of the corporate telematics system is dependent largely on the quality of the car’s sensor, as well as on the calibration of the fuel tank and the softwrae which converts measurements and minimises error due to shaking of the fluid in the reservoir. The main responsibility for correct measurements lies with the vehicle’s sensor. With a non-functional sensor, there’s no way to read fuel data.

Advantages of GPS tracking fuel consumption using a Corporate Telematics System and the factory-installed sensor

  • Low price
  • Applicable for all vehicles with a working fuel sensor
  • Difficult for the driver to manipulate
  • Loading with fuel which has been documented on paper, but is not present in the fuel tank can be detected.
  • Theft or so called ‘draining’ of the reservoir can be detected
  • Fuel consumption can be measured

Disadvantages of tracking fuel using the factory-installed sensor

  • The factory installed sensor measures level and is this influenced by motion of the fuel and the curvature of the road. Measuring fuel levels correctly over a short distance is almost impossible.
  • Reservoirs have an upper and lower dead zone, where the vehicle’s sensor does not measure. Small theft, of around 5-7% of the fuel tank volume are practically undetectable.This means that in a 50 liter reservoir, 2-4 liters being stolen would be hard to detect. 

Which vehicles is this appropriate for?

This method is appropriate for small, light vehicles, busses and trucks with a reservoir volume of under 80 - 100 liters.

For larger reservoirs are available another methods for fuel tracking trough Corporate Telematics.

How will the EuroGPS system for control of fuel consumption help when the factory sensor is utilised?

1/ Theft and Draning of the Fuel

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2/ Fuel Consumption Reports

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3/ Reports on Filling and Emptying of the Reservoir

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4/ Register a fueling that is not filled in the reservoar.

 

How much does it cost? A gps tracking with fuel consumption using the vehicle’s fuel level sensor?

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Topics: Control of Fuel Consumption

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