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App-to-app protocol to connect commercial trucking solutions like ELDs, workflow and bypass apps, sensors, and cameras

| July 16, 2021

New app integration standard aims to accelerate in-cab tech development industry-wide

Fleets benefit when mobile apps play nicely together in the truck cab, says Eleos Technologies CEO, Kevin Survance.

Now, thanks to a new mobile app-to-app connectivity protocol, it will be possible to seamlessly connect commercial trucking solutions like ELDs, workflow and bypass apps, sensors, and cameras.

OpenCab is a new specification from Eleos, aimed at accelerating the development of in-cab technologies for the whole trucking industry.

It enables Android apps running on in-cab devices to securely share information, which in turn will let fleets combine whatever proprietary solutions they prefer—without enlisting each vendor for custom integration work.

This means faster and cheaper development of better user experiences, which don’t require drivers to switch between apps and duplicate their data entry.

Eleos initially created OpenCab so that ELD and telematics vendors could easily integrate with the Eleos workflow platform.

“The spec emerged from building best-in-class driver experiences that required integration with other mobile apps on an in-cab device,” Survance says.

“Our focus is on providing a single pane of glass for drivers—a unified app that can integrate all the functionalities they need to use in their jobs. This means we have to integrate information from other mobile apps.

“Getting these mobile apps to share information often required a great deal of custom integration work. It was a development and maintenance nightmare. We naturally started to look for a way to standardize app-to-app communication.”

Although its direct consumers are trucking app developers, the OpenCab standard also benefits carriers. By offering a simple way to integrate multiple proprietary systems, the spec makes it possible for any fleet to mix and match their preferred applications, while improving and simplifying the user experience for their drivers.

“This will offer fleets a way to assemble best-of-breed solutions with greater confidence, and spend less time on costly projects trying to get apps to work with each other,” Survance says.

With a standardized way to connect Android mobile apps in the cab, solution providers and in-house developers can create integrations with other providers, at far less time and cost. Any solution that supports the OpenCab standard will work with any other, rather than requiring custom code or SDKs for every different solution integration.

“From both an engineering and a project implementation perspective, using OpenCab is simply the most efficient thing to do,” Survance says. “You could go off and create your own way of doing things, but this is a simple, well-documented spec that can help the trucking industry standardize.”

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