What is meant by digital tachograph?

What is a digital tachograph?

The digital tachograph is an electronic device that is integrated into a vehicle’s dashboard. It stores data on the personal driver card and in the internal mass memory. The digital tachograph features a small display screen, a connector to enable data transfer and a printer.

European legislation made digital tachographs mandatory in all countries of the European Union and in Switzerland. As their function is to record driving and resting times, they help enforce compliance with EC regulation 561/2006. Authorised officials will demand to view the data during a roadside check. A digital tachograph card is a smart card, which is used in combination with the control device. The card guarantees the holder’s identity, of which four types are available: driver card, company card, workshop card and control card.

Why is the digital tachograph mandatory?

The digital tachograph helps enforce the drivers’ working hours rules, such as maximum driving and minimal resting times. In this way, it helps raise road safety and guarantees fair competition in the transport market. The download of data from the digital tacho’s mass memory and of data from the driver card to a secure external device is subject to strictly regulated conditions, as is the archiving of data from the digital tachograph.

Connecting the digital tachograph to the on-board computer

A connection between the digital tachograph and the on-board computer allows operators to read out the driver card and the mass memory while on the road. Advanced FMS systems warn both the back office and the drivers in real time if the permitted driving and resting times are almost exceeded. Companies that have a clear view on working and resting times are able to flexibly adjust their planning, thereby maximising their productivity.

Connecting the digital tachograph to CAN bus

If the digital tachograph is connected to the CAN bus, vehicle-related data as well can be registered and processed, in addition to only trip-related data. This opens up possibilities to monitor fuel consumption and the drivers’ driving style.

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