Day by day we see how connected and self-driven vehicles are making headlines in all media, there is another revolution that is gaining ground, although quieter, but no less important: long-distance transport.
These are the 6 technologies that will revolutionize trucks and transportation:
Currently, Platooning (also called road trains) is a central issue of multiple publications worldwide as it offers lower fuel costs, greater road safety and reduced emissions in heavy vehicles. Last year, an investment of 8.1 million pounds from the UK Government was announced in a test that will be carried out on the main roads at the end of 2018.
The Platooning virtually connects a series of trucks to synchronize braking, steering and acceleration. A leading truck sets the speed and route, followed by the other vehicles that reflect its driving.
This high-precision technology allows faster brake reaction times, greater than those of a human driver, significantly reducing the risk of collision. Each vehicle on the train is very close to the one in front, with the leading truck reducing aerodynamic drag for the following trucks in the convoy, also reducing fuel consumption.
Leading manufacturers recommend that the platoons do not exceed 10 trucks, which significantly reduces both delivery times and fuel consumption. The benefits are of great impact, with drivers having more time to carry out additional tasks generating additional income.
2. Electric trucks
Incorporating electromobility will inevitably take longer for trucks than for cars, battery prices are going down while diesel engine prices are going up (due in part to the large cost burden of complying with the new regulations ).
According to McKinsey, the global market share of electric trucks could reach 15% in 2030, driven by the cost of ownership: electric trucks are expected to achieve cost equivalence with diesel in 2025.
In any case, it is likely that the first users will load their fleet in their warehouses or yards, once the trucks expand, it is expected that the “refueling” on long-distance routes will be done by deploying loading points in the centers of distribution and along the highways.
Electric trucks will significantly change the fleet's future capacity, offering greater flexibility in delivery schedules and locations. Since both emissions and noise levels will be reduced, we will probably see how rural and urban areas will be opened for night deliveries.
Some models offer a full recharge time of only 1-2 hours, which will mean fewer stops and significant savings in operating and maintenance costs, for example, the Tesla electric semitrailer already has a range of 500 miles on a single charge.
3. Cloud-based connectivity
Vehicles are currently connected to telematics with several systems in the cloud, but in the very near future, they will be able to "communicate" with each other by sharing the road information learned with other vehicles in the fleet. It will be possible, for example, for vehicle cameras to detect when a road has a new speed limit of 30 mph and this information is automatically shared with other vehicles in the fleet.
In parallel, the possibility is being developed that trucks not only connect with each other but also that they can communicate with other types of vehicles, such as utility vehicles, via the cloud, to collect real-time data on traffic conditions and Possible dangers
4. Deliveries with drones
Drones are visualized as a possible solution to reduce last-mile delivery costs for retailers and distribution companies. These tele-directed devices could revolutionize the way packages are transported to their recipients, in fact, in Reykjavik, Iceland, they are already making food deliveries by this means.
At present, all drones are limited light packages of less than 3 kg, however, there are several problems that need to be solved to make this means of transport viable: anti-hacking protection, air traffic management and security procedures.
However, the road traveled is important, as electronic retailers are already evaluating the possibility of moving the logistics operations from the road to the air.
The United Kingdom is currently developing an automated drone tracking system, with tests that could begin at the end of 2018 and a planned launch for 2019/20.
5. Self-driving trucks
According to José Viegas, former secretary-general of the International Transportation Forum, driverless trucks could have a regular presence on many roads over the next 10 years.
In fact, fully autonomous heavy vehicles are already being used in the Australian mining industry. However, the research center for this technology is still the United States, where trucks are being developed that could operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, allowing drivers to sleep during long-term trips.
6. Anti-collision sensor
Heavy vehicles are almost 7 times more likely to suffer fatal accidents than cars, according to the UK Campaign for Better Transport.
The industry's efforts to address this problem have allowed the development of new technological resources, from the "safety shields" of cyclists, using 360 ° 3D cameras and a radar to warn truck drivers of the risk of collision with a cyclist , up to the technology of prevention and reduction of crashes, which uses a radar to detect an impending collision and activate the automatic braking of the unit.
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