Tachograph analysis software overview

The tachograph was originally introduced for the railroads in the 1920s (The Hasler Event Recorder) so that companies could better document irregularities. Today a tachograph is a device fitted to a vehicle that automatically records its speed and distance, together with the driver’s activity selected from a choice of modes.
A tachograph system comprises a sender unit mounted to the vehicle gearbox, the tachograph head – either analogue or digital – and a recording medium. All relevant vehicles manufactured since 1 May 2006 must be fitted with digital tachograph heads. The recording medium for analogue heads are wax coated paper discs, and for digital heads are digital driver cards containing a microchip with flash memory. Digital driver cards store data as a .ddd file that can be imported into tachograph analysis software.
Drivers are legally required to accurately record their activities, retain the records and produce them on demand to transport authorities who are charged with enforcing regulations governing drivers’ working hours.
Most tachographs produced prior to 1 May 2006 were of the analogue type. Later analogue tachograph head models are of a modular design, enabling the head to fit into a standard DIN slot in the vehicle dashboard. This would enable a relatively easy upgrade to the digital models, that were manufactured to the same physical dimensions.
Analogue data is retrieved visually, and can be assisted by manual analysis tools. Analogue discs can also be electronically scanned and analysed by computer, although this analogue to digital conversion process still requires human expert interpretation for best results, due to imperfections in the source disc such as dirt and scratch marks in the wax surface that can be incorrectly read as trace marks.
Digital tachographs make tampering much more difficult by sending encrypted signals. EU regulation 1360/2002 makes digital tachographs mandatory for all vehicles manufactured after 1 August 2005. Digital tachographs have been required as of 1 May 2006 for all new vehicles for which EWG regulation VO(EWG)3820/85 applies, as was published in the official newsletter of the European Union L102 from 11 April 2006.
As every novelty, when introduced tachographs had had many opponents, however today operators see tachographs as levellers—devices which prevent unfair competition from companies who force their drivers to work excessive hours. Trade unions and drivers also now favour tachographs for this reason and records are often used in tribunals as proof when claiming for unpaid work. Tachographs are also useful after an accident to help establish the cause and corroborate eye witness accounts.
Tachograph data, once correlated, provides valuable data to the haulage company. For instance, efficiency of driver and vehicle use, driver shift patterns, compliance with internal policy, payment of agency drivers, proof of collection/delivery times, etc.
Contemporary market offers a vast range of various tachograph models and software, so sometimes it is really difficult to select one. The best way is to take a look at several samples and decide which of them serves our needs best.

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