Interview with Olaf Horwarth;

Olaf Horwarth, member of the Tachografenforum of the European Commission, about the smart tachograph and what its introduction means for drivers and companies.

To what extent are the current digital tachograph affected by manipulation?
Unfortunately, manipulations are widespread and technically very high. We’re not talking about crafts in backyard workshops but professionally made high-tech tools. Sooner or later, however, all manipulations will be detected by specialized police officers.

Is such a thing to be feared in the new generation as well?
It will certainly be more difficult to manipulate the new devices. I assume, however, that cowboys sooner or later get the tools for manipulations of the smart tachograph.

What exactly will change for the driver next summer?
For many drivers, not much changes on the key date, there are still many driver cards in circulation, which are valid for up to five years. Since the position storage does not take place on the old driver card and such a driver must continue to enter the country at the beginning and at the end of the working day. Whether this will be necessary at the border in future, hängt von den Änderungen der Verordnung ab, which will be decided by the middle/end of this year.
Furthermore, the new devices must be compatible with old and new driver cards. The same applies to the driver cards themselves, the chips must have two partitions. The new tachographs must be able to write both partitions.

Many transport operators are afraid of the glass vehicle, as control authorities in the future, will have access to the digital tachograph.
It will be several years before the control authorities put the remote control download into practice. At the implementation of the smart tachograph, this would also be impractical, because there are still too few “compatible” commercial vehicles on the road. The investment in appropriate control instruments only makes sense for the authorities if vehicles are equipped with smart tachographs EU wide.

How do you rate your willingness to get involved with the Smart Tachograph?
The panic will not be so great as at the introduction of digital tachographs. Because quite a few industry participants are likely to be sceptical about remote control downloads, can I imagine, that there will be a measurable increase in new commercial vehicle registrations before the cut-off date in the next early summer?