The future looks bright for the connected truck

by Truck News-West

HOUSTON, Texas – Drivewyze is excited about the future of connected trucks, and presented an overview of where the company sees the technology today, and where it believes it will go in the coming years.

During Trimble’s in.sight User Conference in Houston, Texas, Charles Buffone, director of product management at Drivewyze, said connected truck technology is still in its infancy, with the current focus being on having additional sensors on trucks that communicate with each other in a more predictive manner instead of reactive.

“The bits and pieces we are doing today will help form that future,” said Buffone, adding that the vision moving forward is to have both vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communications.

With a large and growing network, Buffone said Drivewyze has several thousand locations adding to the connected truck network, which includes its weigh station bypass technology located at 489 fixed weigh scales in Canada, where they are primarily in Alberta where the company has its head office, as well as in the U.S.

Buffone said there are four pillars of the connected truck – safety, efficiency, analytics, and compliance. Increasing safety and efficiency are areas all carriers aim to achieve, while programs like weigh station bypass add to compliance, while data collected from connected trucks creates analytics and is used for predictive measures.

Brian Mofford, vice-president of government experience for Drivewyze, added that V2I communication is happening through the bypass program, as well as roadside monitoring through automated thermal imaging.

Another way Mofford said V2I technology is working today and benefiting the overall transportation network is truck parking. With sensors being used at truck stops to determine space, as well as increase safety, drivers are being notified where they are able to safely pull over to comply with HOS regulations.

“We’re starting to see a lot of this technology that has been deployed in these different sandboxes now coming together,” said Mofford.

In the future, Mofford sees connected truck technology increasing efficiencies with the sharing of information between jurisdictions, eliminating redundant checks and stops for carriers.

Buffone echoed the need to share data for connected truck technology to move forward, which would lead to greater efficiency and better planning when it comes to infrastructure and other initiatives benefiting the industry.

Adaptive notifications with smart alerts providing construction information, weather conditions, and emergencies in real-time, as well as automated inspections, would all contribute to the four pillar of connected truck technology.

“There is no way that this works without sharing data,” said Buffone, urging attendees to contribute to the effort by sharing data. “Drive the future of the connected truck, which I think is going to be pretty amazing.”

Trimble in.sight User Conference Drivewyze
Brian Mofford, left, and Charles Buffone.

Trimble trends

Trimble also has an eye on the future of mobility, with the most pressing current issue being electronic logging device (ELD) implementation.

Rick Ochsendorf, general manager of North American mobility for Trimble, said his company approaches the future with a three, four, three model.

First, Trimble looks at its three-month short-term priorities and then moves to its four-quarter initiatives, which included expanding its video intelligence to light-duty applications, upgrade all its Windows-based devices, and ultimately complete the ELD implementation.

Some of Trimble’s three-year priorities revolve around offering more to its customers, such as hardware agnostic solutions and various value-added solutions that are analytic, driver, and asset focused.

Part of its three-year effort includes partnering with third-party applications to help bring further efficiencies to the industry.

When it comes to its own apps, many attendees said they would like to see the company look at areas where they can merge together some of their offerings to eliminate the need to use several apps for one application.

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