The warehousing industry saw impressive advancements in 2016, as companies committed to broader investment in telematics. Technological upgrades in telematics, in turn, focused on making the vast amounts of available data easier for managers to digest.
But, 2017 is poised to surpass that technology in several ways. Let's take a look at four ways telematics advanced last year and nine predictions for where 2017 will lead.
Advancements in telematics in 2016
Many operations use remote diagnostics, allowing fleet vehicles to report things like required maintenance, repairs and safety issues. But 2016’s telematics delivered more. For one, this was the year big data became more user-friendly. The following illustrate four ways in which that occurred.
Technology trends from 2016 included:
- Meshing of devices (IoT) – For example, TotalTrax VX 200/100 works in concert with location services or GPS.
- Ambient user experience – Telematics software interfaces with PC and mobile devices from onboard the feet vehicle, sharing data and providing real-time alerts and reports.
- Advanced machine learning – Predictive capabilities alert managers when impacts or accidents may occur or when a battery will need water or other maintenance.
- Advanced system architecture – Edge and fog computing allow for computing at the “edge” or in “the middle" of the network.
Predictions for 2017
Last year saw many exciting technological advances in telematics, but there are greater things yet to come. Here are nine technological capabilities on the horizon.
Tech predictions for 2017 include:
- Custom software applications – For example, TotalTrax CommandPulseDX and RX dynamic dashboards focus on exactly what you need to know.
- Everyday AI (Artificial Intelligence) – AI will be everywhere, from forklifts to bicycles. One example is Blubel bike navigation, a waterproof, Bluetooth-enabled, chrome bike bell that delivers real-time directions.
- Widespread coding competence – With the rise of STEM-focused education, coding will become a more commonplace skill, and generally there will be a greater understanding of software applications.
- “Uberization” of warehousing – Enterprises will turn to dynamic purchasing of warehousing services on demand, leveraging a pay-per-use model rather than owning distribution centers or signing long-term contracts with third-party logistics providers.
- Increased use of automated guided vehicles (AGVs) – Dynamic routing through AGVs to reduce traffic congestion and decrease impacts will be critical to materials handling and other warehousing and manufacturing functions.
- Meshing of devices (IoT) – Telematics platforms like VX 200/100 will work harmoniously with location services or GPS for optimum routing and safety.
- Ambient/continuous connectivity – Telematics platforms will interface with PC and mobile devices when trucks are in operation to deliver real-time alerts and reports.
- Advanced machine learning – Increasingly advanced predictive capabilities will alert managers when impacts or accidents may occur or when a battery will need water or other maintenance.
- Advanced system architecture – Advances in edge and fog computing will make processing and analyzing big data faster and more mobile.
About 230,000 vehicles in the U.S. use some form of telematics software to monitor productivity and maintenance — and that figure may surpass 1.2 million by 2020. Big data is in demand, and advanced telematics platforms are continually evolving to deliver it more effectively.