This post was originally published on 17 August, 2020.

Tekt Industries has partnered with experience agency AKQA and global technology company, Nordic Semiconductor to build a technology that monitors and restricts the use of heavy-duty vehicles in protected land areas.

This bold, open-source software and hardware solution uses a multi-sensor cellular IoT platform by Nordic Semiconductor: the ‘nRF9160 SiP Module’ and supports both GPS and cellular IoT functions for geofencing, on hardware developed by Tekt Industries.  

The problem

Protecting forest areas is essential for biodiversity conservation and for the continued existence of culturally rich local communities. Today, despite their protective status, one third of the world’s land reserves are under threat from human activity.

The solution

Code of Conscience, is an initiative that aims to help Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs), governments and communities monitor and restrict the use of heavy-duty vehicles in protected land areas.

Led by global experience agency AKQA, the Code of Conscience Proof of Concept (PoC) was launched in September 2019.

The initiative is now working with NGOs, governments, and local communities to pilot a project in the Amazon, tracking forestry and agriculture vehicles, both on land and water.

How it works

The open-source software uses publicly available mapping data in conjunction with existing GPS tracking technology installed in construction vehicles, to autonomously restrict crews from entering protected zones. The mapping data is updated monthly by NGOs, governments, and local communities. Protected zones are determined by the United Nations World Database on Protected Areas.

The software provides the GPS-based geofence capabilities which interlock with the fuel pump systems of the machinery, enabling automatic shutdown if the equipment moves into a restricted area. Integrated cellular connectivity enables notifications and audits of the machinery’s position during normal operation, and also provides a method of updating map data. A small, low-cost chip has also been developed to equip older, non-GPS vehicle models with the same code.

Initially the concept was built around the Nordic nRF9160 cellular and GPS module, a highly integrated, best-in-class low power NB-IoT and CAT-M1 communications system.

The prototyping platform supports IoT standards like LTE-M, NB-IoT and GPS, making it possible to rapidly develop deployment methodologies, research sociopolitical barriers, and collaborate with one of the most innovative companies accelerating a wireless future.

While there are many low-power cellular solutions on the market today, Tekt naturally partnered with Nordic who are world leaders in ultra-low power wireless technology and offer something unique in the market.

Nordic’s ready-to-go robust hardware along with the detailed software support materials and great SDK’s helped to get this project off the ground quickly, while shared values of Tekt as a company made it a great fit to use Nordic’s latest cellular module as the heart of this geo-fencing and data collection system.

Tekt Industries welcomed the Code of Conscience project as an opportunity to show the world that sometimes technology development has to be about solving problems for the global community and we are committed to supporting great projects that try to tackle the technically challenging task of creating improved accountability and generating data that results in further transparency in both manufacture and industry through novel use of the newest class of IoT cellular solutions.

Learn more about this project including Tekt’s relationship with Nordic Semiconductor.

Lean more about the Code of Conscience project.