The promise of connected autonomous trucks combined with the digital supply chain is huge. The combination of technologies that underlie the connected and autonomous truck and the digitally integrated supply chain has already begun to transform the entire logistics business.
Looking over the horizon, there may be a time when the supply chain is completely autonomous through the advent of Artificial Intelligence, but in the immediate term, it is important to focus on how people working in logistics make the most of this transitional period for the sector. While understanding the minutiae of supply chain digitalisation isn’t of paramount importance, a working knowledge of the technologies that are already transforming the marketplace is vital.
This is where the ENSEMBLE project comes in. It will pave the way for the adoption of multi-brand truck platooning in Europe to improve fuel economy, traffic safety and throughput. Significant advances in platooning technology have been made in the last decade, however a multi-brand approach is now required. This will be demonstrated by driving up to seven differently branded trucks in one (or more) platoon(s) under real world traffic conditions across national borders.
There is a need for independent platoon service providers to coordinate all aspects of platooning. Scheduling or on-the-fly formation, fair distribution of benefits amongst platoon members –will result in more fuel savings and rest opportunities for the vehicles and drivers that follow. There will need to be a bridge between different shippers as well as between shippers and governments regarding regulations such as border formalities and driver resting times. For the PSPs to do their work properly and to enable the growth of platooning, the shippers will have to provide the PSPs with data regarding their shipment times, destinations, drivers. Also, shippers need to trust the PSPs and be willing to remunerate their platooning partners through the PSPs for the benefits they obtained.
The AEOLIX Platform is this bridge and represents a critical way forward for supply chain visibility and interoperability through decentralized information sharing. AEOLIX cloud services provide connectivity to multi-actor data and in-house or cloud-based applications, processes and services, thus enhancing collaboration and interoperability, across the entire transport and logistics sector. AEOLIX platform is piloted across 12 member states corridors with the support of key logistics actors (commercial companies as well as relevant authorities).
It will soon be possible through the ENSEMBLE and AEOLIX European projects to integrate the autonomous truck platoons into real-time logistics data across the entire supply chain, from parts and materials suppliers to manufacturers to warehouses and distributors and finally to the end customer. As critical as the connected autonomous truck will be in bringing sweeping changes to the global transport of goods, its very connectivity will allow it to be fully integrated into the entire logistics effort.
Thus, for example, when a customer sends an order to a manufacturer, the system will send back a report on the availability of the goods and timing of shipment, enabling the manufacturer to optimize its just-in-time production schedule. Once the goods are available, the shipment will be dispatched from the warehouse along a predetermined route. If an accident or heavy traffic impedes the on-time arrival of the truck, the system can automatically determine a new route, and send a new estimated delivery time to both the shipper and the customer. Given the delay, the system will then calibrate changes in the shipping rate and cost of the goods. Moreover, manufacturing customers whose goods are delayed will be able to make immediate changes in their production sequences to avoid loss of production capacity while waiting for the missing parts. In addition, thanks to their ability to communicate with fleet management and with shippers of goods — and in the future with cloud-based solutions for freight matching — trucks will eventually be able to determine whether they can take on additional freight.
To ensure future success, businesses must prepare their supply chain and logistics functions to embrace and prosper under the coming revolution of autonomous driving technology. There is a need to align the supply chain to fully exploit the advantages available which will include, not only reductions in the labour and fuel costs of trucking, but also a wider recalibration of logistics and a fundamental shift in the transportation of goods.
The Ineternational Symposium on Heavy Vehicle Transport Technology (HVTT) is taking place in Rotterdam, the Netherlands from 2-5 October 2018. HVTT is organized every two years by the International Forum for Road Transport Technology (IFRTT).
Economy on Wheels. Fast changes, slow structures. The central question during the HVTT15 is how to integrate fast technological and socio-economic developments that affects road freight transport in existing structures: ageing infrastructure, historical grown cities, established market structures and social order and ingrained habits.
The HVTT15 in Rotterdam expects delegates from all six continents, with over 70 papers presented in three parallel sessions. The HVTT15 offers a program with interesting keynote speakers and panel discussions at plenary sessions, side events and a Young Talent Program. HVTT15 will address all relevant issues related to long distance freight transport, which means technological innovations, the economic value of transport with emphasis on smart logistics, connectivity and multimodality, and transport and traffic management within the framework of physical infrastructure.
The conference covers 24 scientific sessions, 9 side events, 3 plenary sessions, and 2 young talent pitch events. More information: www.hvtt15.com