OLATHE, KSGarmin has improved its Fleet Management Interface (FMI) system to include highly requested features such as canned responses and messages, driver ID, and driver status protocol, according to the Web site, www.TMCnet.com.

Integrated with major mobile resource management companies, Garmin's FMI service enables fleet tracking, messaging, dispatch, and navigation directly on Garmin's portable navigation devices.

Charles Morse, Garmin's director of mobile and OEM marketing pointed out that their FMI service has become very popular among fleet managers because it's robust and easy-to-use. By collaborating with major mobile resource management companies, Garmin is able to replace existing mobile data terminals with Garmin navigation devices that will pinpoint the location of every asset and help ensure vehicles are deployed and operated efficiently.

Garmin's FMI enables fleet dispatchers to send multiple destinations and other instructions directly to their drivers. Drivers can simply tap their screen to access detailed turn-by-turn, text-to-speech, voice prompted directions to their destinations.

The company said that their recently updated FMI specifications, v2, include enhanced options designed to improve customer response, optimize fleet resources, and ultimately, achieve lower costs and higher profits for the company.

v2 has the ability to send up to 120 canned messages and 200 canned responses. Of the canned responses, up to 50 may be selected by the fleet manager as allowed responses for any given message, which according to company's officials, eliminates the need to re-type regularly occurring messages from the driver's GPS display. 

Garmin has also added driver ID and driver status protocols that enable fleet managers to have up-to-the-minute status of a driver's progress throughout the day. By leveraging these additions, drivers can use the GPS device to log the vehicle they are using before starting their day, as well as communicate when a shift or break is starting or stopping. Fleet managers will also be able to customize the GPS device's points of interest databases.