Next Generation Digital Tachographs

The next generation of digital tachographs arrived on 15th June, as with all new compliance-led technologies, suspicions was aroused and assumptions were made about what technologies had been added to the new style tachograph.

Prior to the launch, information on the technology being embedded into the new tachograph has been unclear and this, combined with headlines regarding roadside enforcement, has led to misconceptions being formed and spread within the trucking community.

There is good news for the Operator and driver in that not really much has changed so long as you are abiding by the law.

Many rumors were spread around the haulage industry so I will try to cover some of the facts here.

These new tachographs are commonly known as the Smart Tacho.

Can Enforcement Officers download my Data from the roadside?

The new style tachograph does incorporate a digital short range communication system (DSRC), however enforcement officers cannot use this to download data from the roadside.

An enforcement officer can use DSRC to remotely scan the vehicle against 18 key points of interest to them and determine if the vehicle should be stopped and checked.

  1. Vehicle registration plate 
  2. Speeding Event 
  3. Driving Without Valid Card 
  4. Valid Driver Card 
  5. Card Insertion while Driving 
  6. Motion Data Error 
  7. Vehicle Motion Conflict 
  8. 2nd Driver Card 
  9. Current Activity 
  10. Last Session Closed 
  11. Power Supply Interruption 
  12. Sensor Fault 
  13. Time Adjustment 
  14. Security Breach Attempt 
  15. Last Calibration 
  16. Previous Calibration 
  17. Current Speed 
  18. Timestamp

This scanned information cannot be used to issue penalties or used as evidence for any prosecution.

The DSRC is simply a tool that enforcement officers can use to help them quickly spot potential bad operators easily when carrying out there duties.

Will the New GNSS Transponder be used to spy on vehicle movements?

The Global navigation satellite system (GNSS) will take GPS readings of a vehicle’s position at the start of your duties and at the end of your duties with an accuracy of 200mtrs, and also take a reading every three hours of accumulated driving.

Enforcement bodies would have no remote access to any data recorded but can access this information if a vehicle is stopped.

Fleet management systems used by the operator can access the live information but under GDPR Rules the driver would have to give consent before they could do so.

Can I download data with existing downloading equipment?

There are some changes to the format on generated data other than that there are no major changes, existing downloading devices may not work with the new type tachograph, it is recommended that you contact the manufacturer of your equipment as sometimes a simple software update could allow you to use your current method.

Current tachograph units in your vehicles should they go wrong should be replaced like for like so it is not a requirement to replace a 1st generation tachograph unit with Next Generation Digital Tachographs.