What is an ETA?
ETA stands for ''Estimated Time of Arrival'', which stands for the expected arrival time of a driver.
The ETA is often shown as time (example: ~10:14) or as positive or negative deviation from the planned time (example: -83). This is adjustable per Control Tower.
This example shows an estimated time of arrival:
A blue number means the stop is 'on time'. Red means: too late. Orange means: too early. The limits on the basis of which this is determined can be set per Control Tower. We call such a deviation an exception. Example settings:
- Too late is a deviation of >30 minutes
- Too early is a deviation of >45 minutes
How is the ETA calculated?
The following matters are included in the ETA calculation:
- Current position of the vehicle
- Traffic information
- The vehicle type
- Driving times from the past (historical data)
The ETA is calculated based on the position of the vehicle + the distance it still has to travel + what is known about traffic jams and similar delays on the planned route.
For stops further in the future, historical data is used. For the ETA, the Control Tower looks at the planned route. If the driver deviates a lot from this planned route, a new route will be calculated by the Control Tower. ETAs can therefore be determined very accurately by Simacan.
An ETA will not be reliable if there is not enough GPS data available, making the current position and speed of the vehicle unknown or difficult to determine. It is therefore important that the on-board computer or driver app can deliver this properly. The ETA is updated every time the on-board computer or driver app sends GPS data and every time there is a change in the planning. This may be due to an update from the plan package or because a stop has been manually removed in the Control Tower.
Problem: ETA is missing or +0
- Situation: The driver is clearly ahead of schedule, but there is still +0 / the exact planned time at the next stop. It is possible that a 'waiting time' has been given for that stop from the planning, which means that he must always wait there before unloading/loading until the planned time. The CT calculates this in advance, so that the driver can never 'arrive' at that stop earlier than the scheduled time. If this is undesirable, it must be adjusted in the planning.
- Situation: The ETAs are missing for all trips, or for all trips of a specific carrier. This can be (deliberately) set up for that carrier. If this worked before but suddenly no longer, please report it to Simacan Support.
Problem: ETA is (much) higher than expected
It does happen that when the route is changed during a trip - for example a stop is added or removed - the CT does not process the route change properly. For example, it continues to route via a removed stop location and therefore shows an illogical delay. You can check on the map what the route looks like there.
Note: The driver generally does not notice this during the trip, it only looks strange in the CT.
Problem: ETA is (much) lower than expected
This can also be related to trip changes during an active trip, for example that stops have been towed. Look at the map to see what the route looks like. The driver generally does not notice this, it just looks strange in the CT.
Example of a trip with many changes, resulting in strange sequences: