There’s no doubt that IoT and M2M are making a dramatic impact on many industries.
M2M and IoT are providing these industries with increased access to data, which allows them to improve their processes and identify new opportunities, and boosts automation, resulting in increased organisational efficiency. One of the industries that is evolving with the changes brought about by IoT and M2M is transportation. This field is seeing advances in fleet, freight and public transport management, as well as cost savings and autonomous vehicles. Let’s take a look at each of these innovations and exactly how they’re creating an impact.
Companies who need to make the most out of their vehicular resources are turning towards M2M services to improve their efficiency and raise profits. M2M allows a fleet manager to keep track of the following:
- Exact location of the vehicle - Knowing the exact location of your vehicle will allow fleet managers to make sure that a vehicle is on track for a delivery, or reroute it to a new location if necessary.
- Most efficient route around or through traffic - A fleet manager may be able to plan the most optimal route for a vehicle, only to discover that an accident has occurred that is creating a traffic jam. With the latest data provided by M2M devices, the fleet manager can anticipate this problem and take the necessary action to avoid or minimise the delays on a vehicle.
- Estimated time of arrival - By being able to track the vehicle and the issues that might affect its travel time with M2M devices, fleet managers can have a better idea of when their vehicles will actually arrive at their destinations.
- Driver availability - M2M devices can provide you with the data you need when it comes to checking driver availability, such as whether a driver is in the right area or has adequate time for a new request.
- Quickest delivery route - While a GPS may be able to plan the quickest route on a map, it doesn’t necessarily factor in all the other elements that can impact a delivery route. M2M can gather data, whether its traffic data, weather information or accident intelligence to plot the quickest route, even if it’s not the shortest.
- Vehicle health - M2M devices can be connected to various elements of a vehicle that will wear down over time, monitoring them so that you know when they need to be replaced. This will help you avoid breakdowns that can negatively impact a vehicle’s travel time.
- Fuel levels and consumption - You can use M2M devices to monitor if a vehicle is low on fuel, or a driver is handling the vehicle poorly and it’s negatively impacting the overall consumption of the vehicle. You can then take the necessary steps to ensure the vehicle is refuelled, or that the driver improves their driving methods to ensure better fuel consumption.
M2M services can also provide organisations with a number of ways to improve the management of freight, or cargo. These improvements include:
- Tracking of freight - M2M can be useful simply because knowing exactly where your cargo is at any point can help you avoid losing valuable stock, or ensure it is on track for delivery within deadlines.
- Monitoring the status of freight - Different types of freight require different methods of handling. For example, if you are transporting meat, fresh vegetables or any other perishable items, it’s important that the environment in which the items are being transported is monitored to ensure the environment is suitable for the freight. A temperature gauge can provide up-to-date information on the temperature in a container, notifying a freight manager if it crosses safety margins. This allows freight managers to use M2M to take this burden off of the vehicle driver and ensure the integrity of the environment is maintained, thereby protecting their valuable freight.
Public transport management
M2M services will offer many benefits for public transport management that we’ve already discussed in other fields, including knowing the exact vehicle location, planning the most efficient route (taking into account factors like traffic and the weather), estimated time of arrival and vehicle health.
Another vital role that M2M has to play in public transport management is the planning and development of public transport networks. M2M devices can be used to provide information that allows you to develop new routes or improve upon existing infrastructure. For example, you can identify where most individuals are gathering in order to access public transport and increase the number of vehicles on that route to cater for the larger number of users.
There’s no doubt that simply addressing many of the issues we’ve already highlighted will result in massive cost savings for many organisations, whether it’s through ensuring your perishable freight items arrive on time, or a driver is warned of traffic congestion further on his route and is rerouted accordingly.
Perhaps one of the most exciting advancements when it comes to M2M is the development of autonomous vehicles. This is not just a development that we will see in the future, but something we see changing our society today.
An autonomous vehicle has a variety of sensors on it that allow it to navigate traffic, such as cameras, radar, lidar (which is similar to radar but uses lasers), and wheel speed monitors. However, this is only possible thanks to the interconnectivity between these devices, and, as the technology becomes available in more vehicles, the communication that will occur between different vehicles.
Both of these processes are powered by M2M and IoT. This will not only improve overall efficiency when it comes to making use of space on our roads, but will reduce the overall number of accidents. For example, a human driver might forget to check a blind spot when changing lanes, causing a collision. An automated vehicle has 360 degrees of vision thanks to M2M, so it will identify other cars on the road that the human driver missed and adjust it’s plan of action accordingly.
These are just a few of the ways M2M and IoT will revolutionise the transport industry, some of which you can take advantage of today. To learn more about M2M and IoT and how you can leverage it in your business, be sure to download our PSA - Connected Car Pioneer Case Study or take a look at the solutions POST Telecom can provide.
You can also contact a POST Telecom consultant for more information on M2M and IoT and take part in this digital revolution.