While you don’t hear a whole lot about it outside of the industry, big data has fundamentally and systematically changed the trucking industry forever.
Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.smartdatacollective.com
I had the privilege of speaking on a panel of experts at the Conferenz New Zealand Transport Fuels and Fleet Management Summit in Auckland last month.
Prior to my presentation I visited the exhibits of the leading Fleet Management companies in New Zealand and Australia. I asked them about their latest technologies and there was certainly a lot more discussion about big data and how it could be used to improve safety and drive efficiency than discussions in the past about harsh braking, acceleration and cornering.
New Zealand is a world leader in Fleet Management, particularly due to Road User Charges, where fleet operators who can provide evidence of the distance traveled on private roads, can claim back a rebate, which for some industries such as agriculture is huge.
One area I have been passionately interested in, which is mentioned in this article is complex route management that dynamically re-routes vehicles during the day based on real time traffic. The Traveling Salesman algorithm has been around since the ice man and milkman delivered their products to the citizens of Rome.
The people who thought that traffic in Rome 2000 years ago was congested, have long since stopped complaining and we have new world problems.
A couple of vendors at the conference told me that they were able to monitor real time traffic, both from NZTA and other event data and from third parties, enabling them monitor the impact of everything from peak commuter traffic, to the length of tail in a traffic jam caused by a crash. They were then able to dynamically re-route traffic including knowing some jobs had time constraints whilst others could be done any time. A run therefore could look very different to what was planned at the beginning of the day.
I didn’t see those systems at work and dynamic routing is a complex problem, but if they can do it, the productivity gains for some industries like couriers, perishable products, alcohol and other food & beverage products, health, medical services, fuels and emergency services would be significant.
Not only could these fleets avoid the incidents, but they would also not end up becoming part of and contributing to them.
I look forward to seeing some of these systems in practice, it could be as significant as the initial advent of Fleet Management.