Sunday, January 22, 2006

PDAs in the Automotive Industry

Recently our team has been working on numerous projects and proposals in the automotive industry sector. I am impressed by the broad range of applications that are being brought to our attention.

  1. Marketing and consumer input - PDAs are being used to gather consumer feedback and information after a person test drives a new car
  2. Automobile Inspections - PDAs are being used to automate the process of inspecting automobiles at auctions
  3. Work Orders, Part 1 - detailers at automobile dealerships are tracking work completed on PDAs
  4. Work Orders, Part 2 - third party mobile auto body shops are using PDAs to track windshield repair, dent removal, spot painting, and headlight repair on used cars. The PDA based work orders are used to document work and to invoice for the work.
  5. Banking in the Automotive Industry - PDAs are being used by banks to verify automobile inventory at a dealership
  6. Location based applications - PDAs with RFID readers are being used to identify the location of a specific car in a large lot. Some of these are using a triangulation of long range RFID signals.
  7. Industrial trucks - RFID applications are being used to track all portable equipment in the back of service trucks. Items such as ladders, generators, tools, etc. are each given an RFID tag. If the service truck drives away from the tools, the RFID signals will be lost and a warning is sent to the driver's PDA that identifies the tools left behind. This requires an RFID reader in the service truck, and tags on all appropriate tools.

These are all very interesting projects that have come across our desks recently. It is amazing how many business processes can benefit from the use of appropriate mobile technology in the field.