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Leveraging IoT to disrupt the Supply Chain

In October of 2016, the first autonomously driven shipment of Budweiser arrived safely in Colorado Springs. The truck drove more than 120 miles on interstate highways, completely unassisted by the truck driver, who merely supervised from the back seat.

This delivery represents a new paradigm in the freight industry: autonomous navigation, along with IoT connectivity, device management, and analytics provide a needed opportunity to revolutionize the industry. Freight is characterized by significantly underused assets, though by Uber and Lyft are now disrupting this notion in the ridesharing space.

Though necessary, driver downtime creates significant, quantifiable costs. Any time the driver needs to take a break to sleep, the vehicle, equipment, and cargo sit around as unproductive assets. Additional costs are incurred when the truck is damaged or is taken off the road for maintenance. Issues like these can be mitigated with predictive analytics—enabled by connected sensors that supply fuel usage, route, equipment, and engine function data to the cloud for optimization.

This breadth of solutions is the value of the full stack IoT solution: analytics and device management can be delivered in a comprehensive connectivity offering, so, not only are fleets able to manage connectivity on one bill, they can access device management and an analytics platform in the process.

Invariably, any time Trucks are driven by humans and not machines, there is going to be downtime. This means that both the human and the equipment resources are not being used to their full potential. However, the proliferation of self-driven freight promises to keep the shipments moving while drivers are sleeping, and provide efficiency gains in fuel consumption and route optimization. As more connected vehicles make their way onto the roads. these gains will be bolstered by the rising quality of dataset as the sample size increases. With a larger sample, it will be easier to show with statistical confidence that self driven trucks promote safer and more efficient driving conditions that humans could ever achieve.

Gartner estimates that up to 40,000 of driverless trucks will be deployed autonomously. If autonomous truck performance falls into line with that of Google’s self-driving car trials, perhaps this small portion (1% of all trucks) will near a critical mass to scale IoT offerings what will further enable freight to

In the millions of miles driven autonomously, a handful of accidents have occurred, all but one of which resulted from human error. These results can likely be extrapolated to shipping, as long-haul trucking is particularly reliant on the sort of pre-planned, simple routes to which autonomous navigation is conducive.

Between this growing market segment and machine learning in fleet-management software, IoT connectivity will increasingly be the catalyst for widespread adoption of freight optimization and innovation. These developments will drive the refinement of data analytics and operational efficiency in freight.

Earlier this year, Globetouch acquired IoT analytics firm Teramatrix. The Integration of Teramatrix’s platform and dashboard into Gfusion completes the full IoT stack. Alongside the connectivity solution GConnect and device management interface GControl, the analytics offered by Gfusion allow fleet management users an end to end solution.

Not only is global data available through a single pipeline of billing and service, but shipping and fleet management applications of Gfusion have already demonstrated significant value added.

IoT device management goes hand in hand with connected freight, and will be in high demand as shipping intensive industries see connected cars, trucks, and containers make their way down the cost curve.

The continued decrease in the cost of connected sensors will make it less expensive for the freight industry to connect more containers, trucks, and equipment with IoT.

Globetouch offers access to a global connectivity ecosystem for mobile devices. Our cloud-based virtual network operates in over 100 countries, allowing us to offer competitive rates without sacrificing quality or coverage. We work across all business verticals and across the entire spectrum of connectivity. Our client base includes mobile operators, M2M service providers, MVNOs, OTT providers, connected devices OEMs, device distributors and enterprises offering our end-to-end solutions for their businesses.

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