Historically, the fleet shipping industry has not been quick to adopt new technology. But AI has benefits that are too good to pass up. AI technology, like autonomous driving and predictive maintenance, positions the transportation industry for significant growth and change.
It’s no surprise, then, that research firm MarketsandMarkets valued AI in the transportation market at $1 billion in 2016 with projections of steady growth through 2030. AI technology promises some flashy developments for fleets like autonomous freight trucks. Beyond this, however, there are solutions for fleets of all sizes.
AI is all about using information and data to make decisions. While AI cannot replace humans, it helps make some of the most tedious parts of fleet operations smarter and safer.
One of the key ways that AI will transform fleets is through information. AI can help turn raw data into intelligence.
An AI-driven predictive maintenance solution, for example, turns IoT data collected from vehicles into actionable information. This way, there’s a constant monitoring of overall fleet health. Predictive maintenance can even provide accurate predictions on fleet health and potential risks. This is a great example of AI combined with IoT, or AIoT (Artificial Intelligence of Things).
IoT has already benefited fleet operations with its ability to collect relevant and up-to-date information. Tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS), for example, can keep a constant check on tire inflation for an entire fleet. While IoT collects the data, AI turns it into an analysis.
In addition to predictive analytics and vehicle monitoring, AI also has the potential to transform fleet shipping at a macro level. For example, AI-automated liner schedules are being integrated to address the strains that the Covid-19 pandemic put on international freight transportation.
When it comes to fleets specifically, AI can help streamline schedules and routes. Driver schedules, for example, can benefit from AI, which can make sure optimal routes are chosen. This fleet optimization has the potential to help address some of the strain caused by driver shortages.
Another key driver of AI for fleets are smart cameras. AI video solutions are one of the top solutions for increasing fleet safety. Some insurance companies even set premiums based on whether a fleet is equipped with video.
The quality of video from live streams has never been better, especially when combined with better networks like 5G that offer low latency. AI takes all of this to the next level by identifying dangerous situations. If a potential hazard is detected, the smart camera can respond appropriately with an alert.
Collision avoidance technology also uses smart cameras for AI-equipped emergency braking systems. If the camera detects an impending collision, it deploys the brakes. While collisions may not always be avoided, slowing down the speed of impact can be the difference between fatal accidents or minor injuries.
Smart cameras for fleets, whether in-vehicle or in a warehouse, are designed around increasing safety. In the United States, truck driving is listed as one of the ten most dangerous occupations, mostly due to transportation accidents. Smart cameras equipped with AI-backed safety sensors are one solution geared at making the fleet industry safer for employees.
Perhaps the most future-forward way that AI can transform fleet is autonomous vehicles. Autonomous vehicles could be huge for the fleet industry and are already being developed. With that being said, level 4 autonomous vehicles are still in an early stage.
This can be seen as an advantage if fleets start preparing for the reality of autonomous delivery. Some of the biggest truck manufacturers, such as Volvo, Daimler, and Peterbilt, are heavily investing in autonomous trucks and are already debuting their first models.
The first Autonomous Freight Network has also been created. This includes autonomous vehicles, but also digitally mapped routes, terminals, and operations monitoring systems. While this provides some insight into what an autonomous trucking system may look like, it will still take some time before autonomous trucks are as common as driver-operated trucks.
Autonomous trucks are a promising solution for addressing some of today’s top challenges for fleets, such as increased e-commerce demand and driver shortages. Autonomous trucks could increase the possibilities for long-haul trips that connect ports on opposite sides of a continent, for example.
Developing the future of autonomous vehicles will require fleets to consider these factors and move forward. Incorporating AI with the intention of increasing fleet safety and operations can help ensure a healthy future of fleet for shareholders, employees, and customers alike.
KORE Fleet is a trusted partner in AIoT solutions for fleets worldwide. With solutions ranging from technology to initiatives, KORE is positioned to help fleets prepare for the future of AI in transportation.
Check out our webinar, "Where AI & IoT Meet for Fleet: Innovations for Risk Mitigation," to learn more about fleet and IoT.
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