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Build an ELD Better, Faster, and Cheaper Than KEEPTRUCKIN, Samsara, and Others

Posted by Wilfried Voss on

To mention it upfront, I am not suggesting building the best ELD (Electronic Logging Device) solution in the market. Such systems already exist, and while I like the idea of disrupting the market, I deem such an attempt extremely time-consuming, thus expensive, and most likely not worth the efforts. In other words, KEEPTRUCKIN and Samsara (to mention only two examples) are professionals who created great solutions. Keeping up with them requires massive investments paired with the work of top engineers. You only disrupt the market where you can topple the giant with ease.

The title I used for this post is part of a statement by the “founder” of a business specialized in “building software” (e.g., Android, iOS, etc.) who contacted me because they don’t know “how to get data from the truck to the mobile device.” And that is where I come in because I know “how to get data from the truck to the mobile device.”

I am still trying to wrap my mind around the meeting we had, an event that the founder delegated away to three product managers who came utterly unprepared. I tried my best to present a solution that gets “data from the truck to the mobile device” because I already have that solution, and I sold it in significant volumes. My presentation resulted in embarrassed silence on their part after it sunk in that their idea was not as ground-breaking or easy-to-accomplish as they had estimated. From a business standpoint, I should have told them what they wanted to hear, like, “Yes, I can develop a hardware for you,” but, sorry, that’s not me. Consequently, it was decided that “we need to think about this.”

My point is, in compliance with age-old business wisdom, you need to:

  • Develop a solid strategy
  • Know your market
  • Know your technology
  • Have a development budget
  • Have a marketing budget
  • Have an operational budget

The absence of either of these components will lead to certain failure.

The development of a full ELD system requires knowledge and resources on several levels:

  • SAE J1939 Data Retrieval
  • Graphical User Interface (GUI)
  • Internet/Cloud Connectivity
  • Server-Side Data Storage and Processing

All these tasks may require dedicated teams, and you may guess the development costs. I estimate that hardware development takes less than ten percent of the total development budget. 90% of the software development will require 90% of the budget, while the remaining ten percent will need another 90% of the budget.

Don’t get me wrong, I am open to new and unique business ideas, and I encourage everybody involved with fleet management to look at our offerings. I enjoy working with professionals as much as newcomers, and they all appreciate working with our products.

My business, Copperhill Technologies, offers to eliminate the need to develop the SAE J1939 data retrieval unit through the use of existing, intelligent and configurable hardware that works off-the-shelf.

All this results from disrupting the market by offering reasonably priced devices with powerful features yet easy SAE J1939 data retrieval. The development of these devices was only possible due to extensive market research and intimate knowledge of the underlying technology.

Wilfried Voss
Founder, Guru, Tulku
Copperhill Technologies

For more information on the topic of Electronic Logging Devices, see: