How does it work, automated trip tracking?
How does it work?
In the Track Assistant App you have the possibility to register trips manually, or to do this automatically. This is the way the automatic trip registration works:
Once you have set up the App for automated registration of car trips, this App automatically detects when you are driving with your car. The app recognizes the iBeacon in your car. At the start of the trip, you will receive a notification on your iPhone that the trip has started.
When you stop the car and turn off the power, the App waits 2 minutes to check that your route has actually ended. If you enter the car again within 2 minutes, the registration of the route continues.
When 2 minutes have elapsed, after you have stopped your car, you will be notified with a “trip finished” message and all data (coordinates) will be sent to the Track Assistant servers. The route is determined on the servers and the distance calculated. As soon as the route and distance are available, this information will be sent back to the App and you will receive the latest ‘trip processed’ message, along with the duration and distance.
The trip is now visible on the overview page in the App. The route can be viewed by swiping the trip to the left and clicking on ‘Show route’.
Step 1: are you a new or existing user of Track Assistant?
The first automatic journey continues with the odometer value of your previous trip. If you are an existing user, you do not have to do anything at this stage and can continue with Step 2 right away. If you are a new user, you first have to manually add your last trip with the actual odometer value, so that the first automatic trip continues with the latest odometer value. You can add a trip with the latest value in the App by clicking on the + sign and add the information. This can also be done in your online account.
Step 2: connect the App with the iBeacon
To enable automatic trip registration, you have to be in the car and ensure that the iBeacon is active.
1. Open the Track Assistant App and click on the icon ‘More’ with the three dots at the bottom right of the screen.
2. Select ‘Automatic trip tracking’ in the menu that appears.
3. Select the administration (registration number) of the car for which you want to set automatic trip registration.
4. Turn the ‘Set automatic trip tracking’ slider to the right. This is blue when automatic trip tracking is activated.
5. Select ‘Link with iBeacon’. If the Track Assistant iBeacon is active, it will now be visible in the list. The name starts with ‘TrackAssist_’, followed by 5 digits. Select the iBeacon and the confirmation will show that the link has been established.
Step 3: adjust notifications
If you have enabled automatic trip tracking, you will receive the following notifications by default:
Trip started – ‘date & time’
Trip ended – ‘date & time’
Trip processed – ‘Traveled a distance of x km in xx min and xx sec.’
You have the possibility to turn off notifications by going to Settings of your iPhone and selecting the Track Assistant App. Then you have the choice to adjust sound and messaging.
Frequently asked questions
Where can I buy the Track Assistant iBeacon?
The iBeacon is available in our webshop.
Why does it take a few minutes before a trip is processed?
As soon as a journey is completed, the Track Assistant app sends the raw data (including the GPS coordinates) to the Track Assistant server. If this is not possible the first time, the App will wait until there is a Wifi connection.
The data is then processed into a journey with the correct route and distance. This ride will be sent back to the App. Depending on the number of simultaneous users and the load on the servers, this can take a few minutes.
If after two hours the App has not received processed trip data, the message will appear ‘Trip not processed: please fill in manually’.
Why do I get the notification 'Trip not processed, please fill in manually?
It may happen that a trip can not be processed. A poor or no internet connection can be one of the causes. But also problems with the GPS or too little battery during the ride can cause this.
In that case you will receive the message ‘Trip not processed. Please enter the trip manually.’ A trip is still added to your administration, but without addresses. In this case you can manually enter the starting location, destination and, if necessary, waypoints to complete the journey.
Why is phone battery usage higher?
To make automatic trip registration possible, the App must remain active in the background. This is necessary to be able to detect when you get in the car and start a journey, and of course also to detect to end your trip
The App also consumes more battery because the GPS is actively used to record the actual route and calculate the distance.
The processing of data is done on the servers of Track Assistant. The App will send the raw data to the server and will receive the processed ride later. This also costs extra battery capacity.
The iBeacon is detected late, or iBeacon detection is not stable
It might be that there is too much interference at the place where the iBeacon and / or the phone is placed. As a result, the signal is disturbed or weakened. The easiest solution, especially with the Draught piece beacon, is to place it closer to the phone.
An alternative is to adjust the settings of the iBeacon and change the transmission power. However, a separate App is required for this. The App depends on the beacon you have:
Damsteen beacon version 1
Download the app at: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app / beaconset / id1052655664?mt=8
Then select the beacon by clicking on it (you have to be close to the beacon) and set the Broadcasting Interval to 1 instead of 5. Click on save and enter password ‘track123’.
Click Slot1 and set the Adv Interval (how often the beacon sends a signal) shorter, for example every 300ms. Check is the RSSI@1M slider is slided to the far right, on value 0dbm.
The radius (distance) can also be adjusted. You can set the Tx Power higher (for example -20dBm), so the beacon has a wider range. Then click save. But do not set this value too high, because otherwise the iBeacon will be detected at too great a distance and will cause false trip starts.
Many of my trips are not properly processed, but start and stop notifications do work
Sometimes an update of iOS (for example to iOS 12) or other causes can cause the trip information to be collected incorrectly, so that trips often linger in ‘Trip in progress’. After a time-out, this results in the message ‘Fill in the details manually’.
Many times it helps to do a so-called ‘hard reset’, so that the software on the phone is restarted cleanly. On this page there is an overview per type of iPhone how you can perform a hard reset.
My trip is divided into multiple shorter trips. How can I prevent this happening?
If you are calling through the hands-free set of the car, while driving, it is possible that the beacon detection stops after 2 minutes. And start again as soon as you stop calling. As a result, a ride is cut up in several shorter trips. This issue depends on how close the phone is to the beacon (and how much plastic and steel is in between) and how well the battery is charged.
In order to avoid this from happening, please ensure that the battery is charged as much as possible. In addition, it is better to position the beacon closer to the phone (for USB beacons if another USB slot is available, of course).
You could also strengthen the settings of the beacon. By default, we have the ‘Transmission Power’ on level 1. You can experiment with level 2 or 3 (and higher level means that it is also detected from a greater distance, so there is a trade off). For Draught piece iBeacons it is important to test well, because these beacons are always broadcasting. If the broadcasting radius is too large, the phone will also be detected while you are not in the car.
How can you adjust the Transmission Power? This requires a separate App: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/beaconset/id1052655664?mt=8
- Then open the BeaconSet App select the beacon by clicking on it (you have to be close to the beacon)
- Click on ‘Transmission Power
- Set the Transmission Power to 2 instead of 1.
- Then click save and enter password ‘track123’.
If it does not improve, you can also test level 3. But do not set Transmission Power higher than 3, otherwise the iBeacon will be detected at too great a distance and will cause false trip starts.
Finally, we are also looking at other technical solutions to improve this.