FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 27, 2011
SCHUMER ENCOURAGES ARMY SECRETARY TO IMPLEMENT NEW VEHICLE TRACKING TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPED AT ROCHESTER INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY - VEHICLE SYSTEMS WILL IMPROVE TROOP SAFETY AND CREATE JOBS IN UPSTATE NEW YORK
Rochester Company Vnomics's Technology Could Revolutionize Both Military and Commercial Trucking Safety and Efficiency
Company Has Grown From A Single Individual To Eighteen Employees, Has Further Plans For Expansion
Schumer: U.S. Marine Corps Already Implementing This Technology, Army Should Follow Suit In Order To Improve Troop Safety, Help To Create Jobs In Upstate NY
Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer urged Secretary of the Army John McHugh to implement Rochester-made technology to more accurately track vehicle performance and improve fleet operations and safety. The technology was developed at the Rochester Institute of Technology by a growing local company, Vnomics. In the letter, Schumer notes that vehicle monitoring systems can generate savings of $3,000 per vehicle, and increase fuel efficiency by an average of ten percent.
“The Army should take this state-of-the-art technology developed in Rochester and put it to use across its fleet of vehicles,” said Schumer. “Expanding the U.S. military’s use of this technology beyond the U.S. Marine Corps will improve vehicle fleet operations and safety, result in massive savings for the Defense Department, and create good-paying jobs in Upstate New York. This is the definition of a win-win-win program, and I will keep working hard to make sure the Army utilizes Vnomics’ innovative technology.”
Vnomics has already grown from a single employee to eighteen employees and is currently looking to move into an expanded space as it seeks to apply its systems in commercial trucking operations as well. It is currently housed in RIT’s Venture Creations incubator for emerging businesses. Increased demand from the military would help create jobs and bring new economic opportunities to the Rochester area. According to a 2010 Army Report to Congress, the Army fleet currently includes 260,000 vehicles. The fleet size represents a tremendous opportunity to improve safety, reduce costs, and create economic opportunity for Upstate New York.
Originally developed by RIT researchers funded by the military, Vnomics’ Remote Vehicle Diagnostics Software (RVDS) will be installed on 7,000 Marine Corps vehicles. The systems track engine and general maintenance performance metrics in order to provide feedback to drivers on the road and troops in the field. When the system senses something is wrong with the truck, individuals responsible for maintaining that vehicle receive electronic alerts and can then alert the driver that repair work needs to be done. This can prevent small engine problems from causing breakdowns, saving lives in combat scenarios and saving time and money in the commercial sector.
The RVDS’ list of potential benefits to the U.S. Army includes greater troop safety, reduced fuel costs, lower maintenance costs, up to the minute updates on the status of assets in the field of battle, and reduced administrative paperwork thanks to electronic recordkeeping. The RVDS can provide instant updates to the driver relating to fuel usage and safety, empowering the driver to adjust his or her habits and reduce fuel inefficiency and wear and tear on the vehicles which will result in substantial savings over time. By improving fuel economy, RVDS also helps to reduce carbon emissions and enhancing air quality.
The full text of Senator Schumer’s letter to Secretary McHugh is below:
Dear Secretary McHugh:
I write to bring to your attention an important technology which could dramatically improve the operation of your fleet of ground combat vehicles and commercial vehicles. This technology was developed at Rochester Institute of Technology in collaboration with Marine Corps Systems Command. It provides real-time monitoring and reporting of vehicle systems performance, and can lead to savings in fuel and repair costs, and improved operator efficiency.
Considering the burden of fuel costs on the Army, and given the enormous wear and tear on Army vehicles in the last decade, I urge you to take advantage of technologies that can minimize the costs of operating and maintaining those vehicles. One such technology is a vehicle systems monitoring sensor and software package developed at RIT and currently being produced by Vnomics. This system is one result of a decade of research performed at the Center for Integrated Manufacturing Studies at RIT, in collaboration with the Office of Naval Research. The system allows both the vehicle crew and remote command elements to access diagnostic information on vehicle components and systems as well as vehicle location and driver behavior. These enable maintenance teams to adjust repair and maintenance cycles to actual needs rather than arbitrary schedules.
Military and commercial interest in vehicle systems monitoring is being driven by real savings. Liban estimates annual savings of $3,000 per vehicle, and average increases in fuel economy of ten percent. As part of the Embedded Platform Logistics System, the Marine Corps is currently fielding the system to 7,000 vehicles including the Light Armored Vehicle, the Amphibious Assault Vehicle, and the Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement.
I highly recommend that you consider this technology as one way to improve the operational efficiency of Army ground vehicles. Furthermore, I would be pleased to arrange a visit to the production facilities in New York for an in-person demonstration of this exciting system.
Charles E. Schumer
United States Senator