Digital Transformation in Vehicle Tracking using IoT

By Mahaboob Ahmed, December 27, 2017

Today, we live in a time where safety & security of assets is of the highest priority for logistics companies. Every company feels the need for monitoring their vehicles, venturing into unknown vicinities.

As technology has evolved over time, and gets sophisticated, so have the techniques of criminals. Although we may think we have the best possible security for our vehicles there always will be criminal minds that will be one step ahead to work around it.

In current times, the criminals have more enhanced tools to either disable the vehicle security or override it. Hence we should upgrade the existing security by adding some features that can detect, if not prevent, any kind of suspicious movement of the vehicle.

Role of IoT in Vehicle Tracking

Internet of Things (IoT) is gaining popularity rapidly, as we move towards a truly connected world. Ericsson predicts that by 2020, human population will grow to 7.6 billion, with 50 billion devices connected to the Internet.

Such widespread adoption of IoT will revolutionize many industries. New connectivity options and devices will allow companies to discover innovative ways to work. One such potential beneficiary of IoT is the Logistics industry.

How IoT Works for Logistics Industry

In logistics, the supply chain is made up of various stakeholders including manufacturers, transport companies, and retailers; information sharing and connectivity is essential for all of them. Therefore, IoT has an important role to play in this industry.

One of the biggest problems that the logistics industry faces is the tracking of fleet. With Vehicle Tracking solutions powered by IoT devices, a Vehicle Tracking System (VTS) is an economical solution to implement.

Internet of Things in vehicle tracking systems currently works on 3 main technologies:

  • Radio-frequency identification, or RFID
    • helps control and track products
  • Global Positioning System, or GPS
    • obtain real-time information on routes
  • On-board diagnostics, or OBD II
    • obtains information on vehicle maintenance and driving conditions

GPS or the Global Positioning Satellite system has been around long before IoT devices came out. While GPS data, transmitted to a host over a mobile data connection, is enough to track the movement of a vehicle in real-time, IoT essentially makes Vehicle Tracking solutions a lot more efficient, economical, automated and reliable.

Process flow of IoT based typical fleet tracking system

Benefits of IoT in Logistics Industry

  • IoT offers many new tools, like in-vehicle streaming camera, driver mobile apps, etc., making communication easier and faster.
  • Scheduling, freight management, chauffeur and truck tracking, and effective routing are some advantages of the Internet of Things.
  • IoT supports third party APIs for traffic reporting, park-assist, average speed, driving etiquette monitoring, etc.
  • Logistics companies can move to the cloud for their daily operations and track fleets anywhere, anytime and on any device.
  • Collective data from IoT devices assist fleet management companies to get valuable insights into chauffeur behaviour, acts of law breaking by the driver, over-speeding, etc.
  • Proper application of IoT shrinks total costs by optimal use of resources and enhanced performance.
  • Gathering, sharing, and acting on real time info helps a firm make rapid decisions and prompt improvements.

Conclusion

Like any other technology, the IoT based Vehicle Tracking system can be put to use innovatively, offering huge value additions to the organization. As Vehicle Tracking solution providers find many use cases, Internet of Things will turn out to be the lifeline of the Logistics industry.

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Mahaboob Ahmed

Mahaboob Ahmed has 20 years of IT experience focussing on Design, Development and Implementation of ERP Products. He has managed Cloud ERP Implementations for a few hundred Small & Medium Customers across India; Implemented large ERP On-Premise Implementations across UK & Europe. He is currently architecting a world class Logistics Product with focus on Oil & Gas Upstream vertical.

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