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3/18/2016 4:00:00 PM Write a Letter to the Editor Write a letter to the Editor

The ‘Internet of Things’ Takes Hold in Trucking

For many years, onboard telematics systems have been providing fleets with information such as a vehicle’s location, engine data, driver performance and miles per gallon.

The newer generation of telematics platforms has been designed to tap into the IoT by acting as communications hubs for the growing number of devices in and around the truck, including smartphones and tablets, wearable technology and onboard cameras.

And the expansion of this technology is not limited to trucks.

One story this month examines the growth of trailer monitoring. While many fleets have been using technology to track the location of their trailers for years, a growing number are incorporating additional onboard sensors to obtain more information.

Technology vendors are offering sensors that can tell fleets when a trailer is loaded or empty, when its door opens, the temperature of the cargo inside, when individual pallets move and more.

The IoT trend also factors into another story, which delves into cab cameras and other technologies designed to prevent distracted and fatigued driving. These systems can send video of critical driving events back to the home office so fleet managers can coach their drivers and address safety risks.

Meanwhile, the expansion of onboard sensors and improved active safety technologies is aiding in the development of autonomous driving capabilities and vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications.

Given these advances, it’s easy to forget that trucking once operated without any tracking or onboard communications tools. Back then, carriers were flying blind compared with many of today’s fleet operations, which have a vast sea of information at their disposal.

In fact, much of the challenge today has shifted from data collection to data analysis.

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