Imagine a future where trucking is safer, more efficient and more secure. Welcome to the eConvoy, where wireless connectivity and sensor generated information connects your trucks to the internet to generate real time information.
Road freight is far and away the most popular means of transporting goods in the UK, with 151 billion tonnes moved by vehicle every year. With the volume of traffic hitting an all-time high in 2015 the cost of traffic gridlock is predicted to exceed 50 per cent by 2030.
With our roads heading for ‘car-mageddon’ how can businesses avoid congestion costs like wasted fuel and higher freighting costs caused by vehicles spending time idling in traffic? By getting connected. Bill Ford of the Ford Motor Company believes the way ahead is to create a global transportation network that uses communications and wireless technology to interconnect all road users.
It’s an audacious vision but it’s already becoming a reality. Many carriers are now equipping drivers with devices that allow real-time communication coupled with GPS mapping. With costs falling, investing in wireless technology makes sense.
Improved Efficiency And Safety
But it’s not simply avoiding gridlock where the connectivity of the eConvoy shines. Daimler trucks have recently invested in Zonar which aims to improve efficiency and safety by connecting its drivers and collecting data on everything from truck inspections to dispatch information.
Imagine you’re transporting used pallet racking in Ireland. Using a company like https://www.rackzone.ie/pallet-racking – eConvoy connectivity would allow the consignment to be tracked every step of the way. And tracking solutions improve driver and fleet safety, too, by broadcasting real-time safety messages on traffic conditions.
Reducing Fuel Costs
As fuel prices rise further, the ability to make economies becomes paramount. The two major impacts on fuel economy are vehicle fitness coupled with driver performance. Connected trucks check vehicle components and track driver performance, giving reminders of where fuel savings can be made by improving driving habits. By platooning vehicles safely and efficiently, significant fuel and CO2 emissions savings can be made of around seven per cent – well below the figures for a passenger car.
The eConvoy is a long way from the CB radio days of old. But by updating communications and information for the 21st century, connected trucks are smarter, safer and more efficient.