Connected truck market could aid efficiency in freight logistics

17 August 2017

17 August 2017 Connected and autonomous trucks will be integral to future logistics and freight operations, especially in smart cities, according to a report on the industry. By 2020, heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) are expected to be connected with digital freight solutions and autonomous technologies, which will allow manufacturers and telematics service providers to invest or partner with freight aggregation companies and become one-stop solution providers for fleet operators. This in turn will allow the trucking industry to become smarter, more efficient and cleaner. The Frost & Sullivan report suggests the global connected truck market will be worth $20.5 billion (€17.5 billion) by 2020, with telematics a key driver for the supply chain automation. This will bring in value-added services, such as real-time traffic, tolling, routing and scheduling, parking and freight aggregations. In order to achieve this, telematics providers and truck manufacturers need to work together to develop new open platforms for fleet management providers and develop a cloud-based logistics ′control tower’, which for the entire ecosystem can capture data across various stages of the supply chain and offer stakeholder-specific dashboards for custom viewership. Suppliers would also need to ensure there is data security in place, especially to protect cargo. The introduction of automated truck convoys could soon be a reality in Europe, following the release of a detailed timeline of driverless convoys, or platooning, by the European manufacturer association ACEA, in May 2017. It is predicted that semi-automated HGVs will be seen on motorways around the continent by 2025. Platooning is a system″¯that will see trucks following each other in convoy, taking their speed and distance from a leading vehicle and automatically keeping their distance, braking and acceleration regulated. This allows trucks to drive closer together, reducing their air-drag friction and therefore their CO2 emissions and fuel consumption by up to 10%. With automatic braking, platooning can also improve safety on the roads while using their space more effectively, delivering goods faster and reducing congestion.