CERT navigates concrete jungle

The Centre of Excellence for Applied Research and Technology (CERT), has scored the first of what it hopes will be many contracts for its Falcon telematics devices.

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By  Administrator Published  December 31, 2006

The Centre of Excellence for Applied Research and Technology (CERT), has scored the first of what it hopes will be many contracts for its Falcon telematics devices.

While the first deal, with UAE concrete firm Unibeton Readymix, is worth in the region of US$500,000, CERT — the commercial arm of the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) in the UAE — expects to generate sales in excess of US$100million from the devices, which it developed with IBM.

Unibeton, which has more than 350 trucks, will use a telematics system to relay information regarding its operations back to its control room.

The data can relate to a number of factors such as the position of the vehicle, whether a truck is delayed, whether it is in the right location, if it is being driven erratically, and if it is unloading concrete in the correct location.

“Unibeton has six batching plants around Dubai and getting concrete there at the right time and right condition is quite a task,” explained David Hall, CEO of CERT Telematics.

The devices enable Unibeton not only to improve its timeliness but also to monitor more closely the location of vehicles, an important factor given the lack of proper addresses in the UAE, Hall said. The concrete firm is due to start full-scale deployment this month having already begun a pilot programme.

CERT picked up the Unibeton contract at a Roadex exhibition held in Abu Dhabi earlier this year. The contract, however, is just the tip of the iceberg, according to Hall, who said the telematic devices’ official launch at GITEX attracted “enormous” interest.

“We had interest from governments, not the UAE government necessarily, that were interested in security — tracing vehicles, stolen vehicles and so on.

“We had interest from big fleets delivering goods around the Middle East, from taxi companies and emergency services, as well as interest from cities looking at city centre congestion.”

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