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Trucking Around the World

text: trucking around the world

Modern transportation systems are now noticing a wide shift towards innovative technological methods. Although the world functions on long-haul flights, hour-long traffic jams, and diesel trucks that only get 7mpg, the future of transportation is bright and constantly changing for the better.

With electric vehicles, big data, integrated digital systems, the trucking industry is only observing a start to a massive revolutionized change. According to Supply Chain Management World’s research, 64% of executives believe that big data and its insights will bring a disruptive change in the industry. Some of the largest companies, such as Amazon and Walmart, are already using such means, and the shift towards the transportation industry won’t take more time than anticipated.

Technologies and data-driven models will change the way logistics companies deliver and supply their products. As we study the upcoming innovations, we will notice how these technologies decrease delivery time limits and increase large cash flow. With more products being delivered, more companies have the opportunity to maximize profits.

As the trucking industry continues to evolve, there are plenty of promising and exciting innovations that we will hopefully begin to see in the near future.

Electric Vehicles

The idea of electric vehicles has emerged in recent years. If the topic on driverless, electrically powered trucks was spoken about years ago, the topics would have received ample amounts of hysteria and mockery on the erroneous claim. However, such vehicles are now taking on the trucking industry and are noted to change the way supply chain functions as a whole. 

Companies like Tesla are already creating autonomous trucks that feature lane and brake-assists, which lead the way to driverless methods. Such advancements not only mark a revolutionary shift in the industry but also decrease the chances of self-driven accidents and promise saved cost, time, and lives.

Tesla’s Semi will come in three configurations; single-motor-rear-wheel-driven, dual-motor-all-wheel-drive, and tri-motor-all-wheel-drive. The first has a range of 250 miles, second has a range of 300 miles, and the third can go up to 500 miles. The Semi also consumes less than 2 kWh per mile Acceleration and 0-60 mph with 80k lb in 20 seconds.

While Tesla features its truck through expensive features, BYD is eyeing the short-haul goods movement sector, primarily in America’s ports, rail yards and freight-handling facilities. BYD is headquartered in Shenzhen, China, with offices and an assembly factory in Lancaster, California. In 2020, it’s preparing to roll out more of its battery-electric trucks to customers across the United States.

BYD is the world’s largest EV maker in terms of volume of vehicles sold (including buses, forklifts, cars and rail systems). That includes its long-range battery-electric Class 8 Day Cab, a Class 6 truck, a terminal tractor and two models of all-electric refuse trucks. Their Class 8 Day Cab has a range of 125 miles and a top speed of 65 miles per hour. The truck’s battery packs can recharge in as little as two hours with a high-speed direct current system or about 14 hours with a standard 240-volt charging system.

With all these new innovations, it is evident that the shift towards electric cars is already prominent. Thus, it won’t be long as the same technology makes its way in the global trucking industry, and logistic companies rely less on driver availability to run their supply chain cycles efficiently.

Platoons

Platooning, also known as flocking, is a method in the transportation industry in which a group of vehicles drives together. This is to make the best use of road capacity via an automated highway or road system. Using an electronic or mechanic coupling, trucks on the same road would accelerate or brake simultaneously. As a result, this would decrease travel time and eliminate reacting distances.

Platooning is also known to save fuel consumption costs. The line of trucks in one direction, all work together to fight traffic congestion and wind resistance. Furthermore, this method is also a safety net for the general public. Instead of several trucks spread across the road, platooning would allow single-file lines of trucks only on one side of the road.

Peloton is a United States-based company that specializes in platooning technology. Using collision mitigation systems, radar sensors, and necessary signals to alert the driver on braking or accelerating tasks, the company works to create a safe drive for each truck. The company has also proven fuel savings of about 4.5% for the lead truck and 10% for all the other trucks behind.

Platooning is also integrating itself in Europe with the help of the Ensemble Project. This project studies and analyses how platooning impacts infrastructure, road safety, and traffic flow of other vehicles. Using real-world testing across national borders, platooning technologies will be implemented more thoroughly through the analysis done under this project.

Big Data Integration

There is an apparent relationship between big data and delivery systems. Data analysis is revolutionizing such systems by gaining insight on exact locations, time, and costs used on a delivery day.

To ensure data analysis is sufficient and of high-quality, companies need to ensure that the data collected is as precise as possible. To mitigate any oversights, artificial intelligence algorithms help to enrich data and fill any unnecessary gaps present. Hence, big data combined with AI prove to be extremely beneficial in the forecasting and analysis of large shipping volumes and optimizing future plants proactively.

Geodis, a worldwide logistics company, launched Neptune – a project that uses real-time coordination of transport activity. It reports and analyses key indicators that affect performance levels and documents data for future use. Using big data in their systems, the company can manage all their delivery and customer activity using a single platform.

The Executive Vice President of Geodis, Oliver Royer, stated, “The combination of big data, artificial intelligence and geolocation are at the heart of our current and future thinking and aimed consistently at further simplifying our customers’ activities; guaranteeing them new sources of productivity.”

The Future is Bright

The innovative steps towards technologies introduced in the trucking industry do not end here. As newer technologies continue to emerge, trucking companies will need to shift to-wards modern methods so they can maximize resources and minimize costs as much as possible.


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