How IoT is Transforming the Transportation Industry
The transportation, logistic, and fleet management sectors are some of the biggest beneficiaries of digital transformation solutions across all industries. Especially with advances towards smart cities, technologies such as the Internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), big data, and predictive analytics act as the main driver for transportation businesses to grow.
With machine-to-machine communication, transportation companies can easily improve efficiency, perform better and support operations in real-time. They can automate their services right from process management to security and surveillance. Let’s take a closer look at IoT applications in the different areas within the transportation industry.
How IoT is helping the Transportation Industry?
IoT makes transportation intelligent. It can be defined as the networking of machines through embedded sensors, actuators, and other devices that gather and share data for operations within the industry. It notably serves in the areas such as traffic/fleet management, vehicle telematics system, toll-ticketing, tracking, and security. As per Allied Market Research, the IoT market in the transportation industry is valued at $135 billion in 2016 and is expected to grow to $328 billion by 2023.1
Let’s look at the applications in detail.
Real-time data accessibility
To better respond to the rising customer demands, transportation companies need real-time data and analytics. With high-quality sensors installed, fleet owners and transportation managers gather all the real-time data to get a complete view of their inventory, on-road vehicles, and drivers. This helps them speed the analysis process, optimize efficiency, and generate value for the business operations.
- Better fleet/traffic management
IoT is being used by fleet managers to ensure safety standards and operate at desired performance levels. According to a new report by Research and Market, the IoT fleet management market is projected to reach USD 8.28 billion by 2021.2 Using IoT not only helps them effectively monitor their fleet but also saves them a large amount of time, money, and resources.
Through sensors, the fleet companies can analyze data and gain actionable insights regarding the assigned driver, speed of the vehicle, driving patterns, fuel consumption, and so on. This helps them make quick decisions for instant improvements.
- Environmental Friendly operations
Monitoring your vehicles and getting real-time insights can tremendously help in minimizing the harmful effect on the environment. Exceeding the speed limit or keeping the vehicle idle increases the emissions of Co2 and carbon footprint in the environment. It also maximizes fuel utilization leading to additional fuel costs and causes wear and tear of the vehicle. Using IoT gives managers real-time visibility into driver’s behavior and vehicle’s condition decreasing the managing cost and making them environmentally friendly.
- Predictive Maintenance
Along with better insights and connectivity, IoT helps in tracking the health of the fleet, with a real-time inspection from any device to ensure that it is fully functioning. Managers can keep an eye on the battery level, coolant temperature, engine maintenance, and other factors to keep the machines up and running. This not only helps machines to operate smoothly and safely for a longer period but also takes notice of any mechanical problems before they occur. In case of any issues, managers can take immediate actions with the help of these parameters targeting the areas that need attention without disturbing the whole operation.
- Automated Toll-Ticketing
Traffic jams at the toll plazas on busy highways have become a common sight. Manually collecting cash from such a huge amount of locomotives is a slow process and consumes unnecessary manpower. Automating toll collection help passengers to easily get through the toll station without wasting time, making their journey more convenient and viable. It gives customers the flexibility of paying their toll bills without having to worry about cash.
Equipped with IoT connectivity, automated tolls use an RFID tag, that improves the flow of traffic and reduces the chances of accidents near the toll plazas. It also helps to collect information such as vehicle count of the day, date, time, etc, to improve travel behavior in the future.
Benefits of IoT for Transportation
IoT proves to be an essential aspect of the different segments in the entire transportation industry. It offers immense benefit to both industry and end customers within each sector. Here are some of the wider benefits listed.
- Enhance customer experience
Although transportation, logistics, and fleet businesses do not have direct contact with end customers, they do play a significant role in connecting businesses with them. IoT provides real-time delivery information to both managers and consumers which improves their work efficiency and plans further engagement in the buying process.
- Safety and security
IoT enables self-driving vehicles to communicate in real-time using data from various sources. This reduces the risk of accidents as smart sensors and vehicles can easily communicate regarding any incoming mishaps and traffic delays on the current route. In case of any incident, traffic congestion, or road closures, drivers receive constant updates, helping them to re-route most efficiently and effectively.
For logistics, IoT enables security at the entire process right from handling inventory to data storage, cloud, and warehouse management. It helps to implement robust security to access data over a private network and safeguard it against cyber threats.
- Warehouse Management
A well-managed warehouse directly impacts the ability of the transportation business to compete in the market. IoT enables managers to track inventory data, equipment, and vehicles to get exact ideas about their current condition and see if anything requires updating. They can share critical yet accurate data across the cloud ensuring the right products are available at the right time. With more machine-to-machine interaction, managers can be free from human intrusion.
Think Big, Scale Fast!
Though 2021 looks promising for a post-pandemic world, industry leaders will not stop embracing technologies to manage transport, logistics, and fleet. Shortly, IoT-enabled companies will fundamentally transform the way they track and operate merchandise, reducing the cost and increasing productivity. Most of these operations will be automated and executed by the robots, delivering a vastly improved customer experience.
If your transportation business is looking to drive more value for customers and create a competitive advantage, we can help. At iLink Digital, our IoT experts work hand in hand with our clients to build transportation systems that deliver mobility, security, and safety.
Want to learn more? Get in touch with us today.