6 technologies that will change the RFT from now until 2030
The digitalisation of the road freight transport industry helps reduce the intermediaries, saves times and eases the Supply Chain. According to the study, technologic innovations will help transporter lower their costs by trucks by 5% from now until 2020 and by 30% from now until 2030 with the use of 100% autonomous trucks.
1 - Autonomous driving
The autonomous trucks topic is often talked about in the media. The study says that in 10 years time, trucks will be able to drive long distances on motorways without a driver. In Europe, Daimler and Freightliner have already tested several trucks that are 100% autonomous. In other news, the start-up Otto, bought in 2016 by Uber, has improved the in-car system that helps with the autonomous drive. Besides, it will be possible in the future for firms like Google and Tesla to offer autonomous trucks.
Regarding legislation, the Unece (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe) announced in March 2016 the change of the Vienna convention. This convention rules the road circulation since 1968 and imposed to have both hands on the steering wheel at all times. This has been changed, allowing automated driving systems in the vehicles if they "meet the UN requirements or can be controlled or deactivated by the driver".
These modifications are a step closer to the spreading of in-car technologies for semi-autonomous driving.
2- The V2I communication : vehicle-to-infrastrucutre
The study by PWC showcases the important growth of technologies that allow vehicles to be related to road infrastructures. This kind of communication offers information in real time on traffic (jams...) as well as the use of infrastructures by drivers (parking, gas station, etc...).
For total safety, 3D softwares and GPS tracking are installed in the trucks. Most accidents happen because of human errors. That's why trucks connected between them and their environment solve this kind of problem.
3- The « remote diagnosis »
The study by PWC also talks about diagnosis technologies. These technologies watch the vehicle's state in real time. According to the study, this type of technology helps transporters in the maintenance of their fleet. Thus, the vehicle's lives increase by 5%. Moreover, the on-board diagnosis problem system find the nearest garage and informs the driver about the problems the vehicle might have.
4- The integrated value chain
What the study calls « the integrated value chain », is a logistic information system in real time. This technic can be connected to the chain : from the spare parts supplier to the distributor to the final client. With this connection between every person of the logistic chain, the possible delays because of an accident or traffic will be communicated to the recipient.
5- The V2V communication : vehicle-to-vehicle
One of tomorrow's communication method found in the study is the V2V communication. One of these technics is the « platooning » that saves fuel for the truck. The platooning system is a group of vehicles. This technic has several advantages such as the decluttering of roads, the reduction of traffic jams or the decrease of accidents.
In April 2016, several manufacturers (Daimler Trucks, DAF, Man, Iveco, Scania and Volvo) took part in the European Truck Platooning Challenge. Groups of trucks hit the road and got to Rotterdam.
Each manufacturer left from different strategic points : Scania left from Sweden, Man and Daimler left from Germany, DAF and Iveco left from Belgium. The vehicles connected through Wi-Fi drove at a distance of 20 metres from each other. The operation was a success.
6- Platforms connecting the supply and demand
The latest technologies that may change the RFT in a few years are platforms connecting the supply and demand. Indeed, trucks connected with the fleet manager will soon be able to judge the loading rate. This information will be communicated on a platform designed for facilitating contact between the supply and demand of the freight transport. Several platforms already offer this service such as Chronotruck or Cargomatic for instance.