Micronet, an Israeli firm, is the largest producer of in-cab mobile terminals used in fleet vehicles such as trucks and taxis, according to industry data. The company’s new A317 model, released on Monday, allows users to take advantage of apps for Android-based tablets, Micronet said.
There are nearly half a million Micronet devices in use, more than any other single manufacturer in a crowded market with over two dozen companies producing similar products, the company said, citing industry data. Competitors include Agilnet, Amphenol and Flextronics. Micronet is traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. Together with Enertech, a supplier of military technology to the IDF and other armies, Micronet was part of an IPO by a holding company last June.
Micronet shows the robustness of the Israeli tech industry. As a dominant player in a competitive market, it supplies vehicular data and information terminals to fleet vehicles. Over the past 30 years, Micronet supplied fleet managers with devices designed to stand up to extreme temperatures and abuse (such as spilled liquids). The gadgets are likely to be part of multi-day treks by big-wheel truck drivers as they wend their way across the US. The devices include WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth and cellular network communication capabilities.
Along with tablets, Micronet supplies its own software cloud, which gives fleet managers direct access to information about a driver’s location, safety, delays and more. The devices “enables both firmware and application software to be remotely managed and simplifies maintenance, trouble-shooting and remote training, significantly reducing operational costs over the lifetime of the product and substantially improving user experience and customer satisfaction,” the company said.
Available Android applications include schedulers, maps, safety apps (such as an app that requires truckers to take a break) and even entertainment options that long-distance drivers need to stay awake and alert, such as online radio and a chat network for truckers.
Micronet said that the ability to use Android apps on the A317 device allows for “a wide range of functions including corporate policy compliance; remote device access for online training, support and trouble-shooting; and over-the-air (OTA) functionality for highly secure and data efficient upgrades of application and operating system software.”
“Over the years, Micronet has grown to be the most popular supplier of rugged mobile data terminals worldwide. We continue to innovate in anticipation of our customers’ needs,” said Rafi Katz, CEO of Micronet. “The A317 is the first in a new generation of products that we plan to introduce within the next two years to address the evolving needs of each of the mobile resource management verticals.”