A New IoT-Based Device That Prevents Fuel Theft From Heavy Vehicles

  • A fuel tank guard developed by the students CVR College of Engineering, Hyderabad helps truck drivers to comabat fuel theft menace.
  • The students were declared as one of the finalists at the Smart India Hackathon 2019. 
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At the third edition of Smart India Hackathon, held earlier this year at IIT-Kharagpur, students from CVR College of Engineering, Hyderabad came up with a novel idea to prevent fuel theft from heavy vehicles such as trucks and heavy earth moving machines (HEMM).

The IoT-based prototype called the ‘fuel tank guard’ helped the team become as one of the finalists of SIH 2019. For this achievement, they received a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh.

About their prototype

The students under the name Team Enigma99 designed and developed a fuel tank guard that monitors fuel theft. The way it works is like this: A device with sensors in it is located on the opening of the fuel tank. These sensors detect and record the value of the float valve. In order to access the fuel tank, the thief will have to break through the hardened device, which the students made by themselves.

“Every time there is movement near the metal structure or when someone tries to open the oil tank, a buzzer will go off and the truck or HEMM owner will be notified through SMS or a call,” said Rohan Bamshi, team leader, Team Enigma99.

The currently used in-built sensors manage to give only basic fuel level data and is not reliable enough. However, the fuel tank guard solves this issue by providing accurate results.    

To come up with such a device, the students interacted with several truck owners and understood the problems they had to face regarding fuel theft methods – insertion of a pipe through the fuel tank cap and sucking the fuel out and creating holes for fuel to leak out of the tank.

Fuel theft is a menace that often creates difficulties for truck drivers, who have to be on road at odd hours for long distances. Lack of enough amount of fuel increases the journey time and causes a loss in businesses as well.  

Plan ahead

The team believes that their device is low on cost, easy to implement and provides accurate results. Seeing its success, the team plans to sell the device to heavy vehicle managing agencies at just Rs 1500.

“We are ready with the MVP but are still working around the business model,” said Rohan Bamshi.