Transportation technology has made the world smaller – not only can you fly to the other side of the world in a day, but you can exchange information across continents as if you were in the same room. The vast distances that divide us have been reduced.
If you are in shipping or logistics, though, you are aware that this is ultimately just a metaphor – the world is still enormous, and we increasingly depend on shipping to fuel a global economy (total freight will increase by nearly 10 billion tons in the next two decades). Trucks carried 13,955 thousand tons of freight in the US alone, in 2013.
But trucks break down, drivers are set up with incorrect routes, and vehicle software can become vulnerable to hackers just by the merit of being outdated. Every slip-up, every glitch definitely costs money.
Luckily, technological breakthroughs are allowing fleet managers to communicate better with both drivers and their vehicles. Understanding every aspect of a truck’s performance — and relaying that information to the driver — can power the shipping industry in the future. The key to this improved performance is ‘Smart Onboard Display Systems’, which can transmit data and receive critical updates over-the-air.
The Future of Commercial Vehicle Data Exchange
Far from just housing speedometers, smart displays have the potential to tell drivers virtually everything they need to know along a route, and can also communicate this same information to a central cloud-based data storage system.
This means that fleet management can have access to information about every truck in their fleet at all times, allowing them to trace broad patterns, devise more efficient routes and enable advanced dispatch systems. But such a system also lets them zoom in and maintain a continuous dialogue with each driver about matters like:
- Vehicle Maintenance: Sure, plenty of freight trucks are still going strong after a million miles — but when the average truck drives over 100,000 miles per year, that odometer reading approaches quickly, with plenty of opportunities along the way for issues to develop. Data exchange via cloud connectivity allows us to know everything that is going on inside a truck’s engine, its wheels, and even its cab. We would know if parts are wearing out and need to be replaced — and how long they can be expected to last. The parts will also be able to talk to each other, so if something starts to go wrong with one, other modules can immediately adjust to mitigate the problem. Drivers can be kept appraised via the infotainment system or even an augmented reality display on the windshield.
- Driver Management: With advanced telematics, all the trucks in the fleet can be tracked to ensure that they are taking the best routes and driving in the most efficient manner. Each vehicle’s onboard display system can communicate this information to the driver, offering not just directions, but advice on how to handle changing weather or road conditions in order to maximize fuel economy. Data can also be gathered into a global database, providing the big picture of persistent problems.
- Health and Safety: A fleet’s most valuable asset is its drivers. With two-way communication, driving hours can be monitored more accurately, receiving instant alerts if a driver goes erratic behind-the-wheel, such as drifting or veering. Onboard displays can light up, and central dispatch can contact the driver. If something goes wrong mechanically, immediate help can also be sent.
- Over-The-Air Updates: The nature of vehicle software will continue to change as connected technology evolves. But most shipping companies cannot afford to call all their trucks in and have them updated every few months, and it is wildly impractical to put a new fleet on the road every year or two. This is what makes Over-The-Air (OTA) software updates so valuable. Display systems can be updated from anywhere in the world, with new software sent directly to every single truck in the fleet.
Shipping technology has evolved since the days of the donkey cart, but the goal remains the same – transport goods to the right place in the most efficient manner. Advanced telematics and OTA capabilities are contributing to effective logistics, paving the way for constant digital conversations between trucks and fleet managers. Smart display systems will allow the world’s most crucial industry to continue shrinking the globe.
As the auto industry is changed by technological and economic currents, OEMs and Tier-1 manufacturers will need to partner with technological specialists to thrive in the era of the software defined car. Movimento’s expertise is rooted in our background as an automotive company. This has allowed us to create the technological platform that underpins the future of the software driven and self-driven car. Connect with us today to learn more about how we can work together.