This past month, Daimler North America announced they have become an investor in the Zonar System’s smart truck. Zonar provides telematics, the combination of telecommunication, vehicles, and mobile computing technologies for trucks. The Daimliner/Zonar duo will team up and begin building a new smart truck for the future. The truck will share information in real time as freighters drive across the country. The truck will transmit data about itself, the driver, the shipment, and maintenance to fully connect drivers and carriers with their vehicles.
Daimler and Zonar Systems – A Match Made in Heaven
Daimler has been making a lot of improvements to their trucks recently. Its new 2106 Western Star model is equipped with safety features like adaptive cruise control and driver comfort improvements like satellite flat screen TVs. With telematics maker Zonar, Daimler will begin designing “smart trucks” for heavy duty use. Past collaborative efforts have yielded some impressive results, like the Virtual Technician diagnostic system, released nearly five years ago. Currently, Zonar offers some of the most insightful telematics tools that track fuel savings, safety features, and driver uptime.
The new technology these trucks feature will have a significant impact on shippers, truck carriers, and truck drivers. Zonar’s systems blend together telecommunications, vehicle function, and mobile computing. These telematic systems allow for trucks to stay connected on the road. The new systems will essentially let commercial vehicles plug in to the internet and share shipment and other information in real time. The new technology will display load status information to shippers, like the temperature of refrigerated cargo and the status of the cargo lock.
Additionally, the connected trucks will allow carriers to access info on the trucker’s speed, hours-of-service, engine diagnostics, and other engine information. By communicating data based on the cargo, driver, and mechanical features of the truck, these systems offer carriers and other industry professionals a big picture look into their fleets.
The cloud-based data will be available to drivers, dispatch and fleet managers, maintenance shops, and even the shipper. You’ll be able to see a pallet as it’s loaded and shipped and when it arrives. This real time information is tremendously helpful to both carriers and shippers who are always looking to cut wait times outside loading facilities.
The Future of Connected Trucks
Telematics is still an evolving field. The connectivity of trucks increases each year, providing more insight than ever before. The trucking industry is just catching on to the importance of Big Data, and it is soon to see what experts call a “data explosion,” which will greatly improve the way truck carriers operate, including efficiency and turnaround times. As data increases, one of the most exciting changes will be developing new ways to analyze and put that data to use.
Big Data is already improving the way carriers ship, and the future may hold promising safety improvements. For example, data collected at off ramps with a high rollover rate could stream in real time to warn drivers of impending road hazards. The future of telematics and the connected fleet means we will probably see some impressive changes to the way we ship very soon.