Unlocking Value with Connected Transportation

In an industrial setting, transportation is key to the movement of raw materials, finished goods, and assets from one location to the next. Even though digital technologies are making their way into transportation, this area is still fraught with inefficiencies. Addressing this gap and tying up loose ends between data and insights can enable enterprises to unlock new efficiencies. Digital technologies such as Artifical Intelligence (AI), Blockchain, IoT, Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and Robotics offer significant potential, especially in the area of advanced safety and security. In this blog post, read how connected transportation can drive business value beyond the obvious with automotive industry.

How digital technologies can unlock value through connected transportation,

Sowing the seeds for insights-driven agriculture: The global agriculture and farm machinery market is slated to grow to US$ 281.61 billion by 2022. This industry consists of a wide variety of machinery including tractors, harvesters, and equipment for plowing, planting and fertilizing, and irrigation to name a few. All these machineries can be made smart to collect data as they perform their respective, repetitive task. For instance, plowing and planting machinery can collect information about the soil and actually inform on when and how much of fertilizer is needed. Data can help determine the quantity of water likely to be needed depending on the moisture in the soil, and this, in turn, can enable the farmer to anticipate the quality and quantity of the crop. Drones can additionally substantiate this data collected by agricultural machinery and keep track of pests, growth of the crop, and readiness for harvesting.

Sensors informing on the wear and tear of the machinery can facilitate predictive maintenance so that downtime is minimal or nil and insurance providers plus the machine maintenance agency can plan their effort with insight. As data from thousands of agricultural machinery across a region gets consolidated, governments can capitalize on it to locate possible problems, plan on how to address these, and even put in place specific policies and directives.

Riding towards efficiency with smart railroad: Railroads are a critical source of freight. Data on capacity of each coach can also be used to maximize freight. Sensors can play a critical role in collecting data on the real-time functioning of the engine, temperature, vibration, ventilation, and flag anomalies, thus preventing accidents. Sensors can also play a role in regulating the speed of the train depending on external factors such as speed of the wind, weather condition, and behavior of the driver. Over time, all this data can be used to automate functions on the train, improve schedules, simplify management, increase safety and services, ensure higher utilization, mitigate delays, increase mileage, prevent pilferage, and significantly improve profit margins. Projections are that the global smart railways market will reach US$ 27.62 billion by 20231.

Sailing towards real-time information with greater autonomy: Shipping may be a cost-effective way to transfer huge quantities of goods across huge distances, but it is also an industry facing challenging headwinds and struggling to offer real-time information especially once goods leave the port. With sensors, the industry can potentially collect huge quantities of data across the transportation cycle from temperature, location, capacity, contents of each container, real-time movement of the ship and goods, and more. Besides data collection of goods aboard the ship and the ship itself, data can also be collected about the ocean - weather conditions such as wind and visibility, water conditions such as the height of the tide, and tidal stream. This data can be stored via Blockchain and fed through advanced routers and gateways into an AI tool that analyzes it for fast decision-making - say the fastest route based on traffic, noting the correct temperature for refrigerating certain goods and correcting the temperature if an anomaly is detected. The push for digital technology in this asset-intensive industry is so strong, that there are plans afoot to launch the first autonomous ocean carrier in the world by as early as 2019. Ports are also turning to digital technology to enable ships to commute through faster, with safety, and greater autonomy, the Port of Rotterdam, which is the busiest port in Europe is one such example.

Trucking with improved safety and security: The logistics and supply chain industry is heavily reliant on fleets of trucks to deliver products over land. Here, the weather has a direct impact on transit time, delivery rate, and human error. Sensors on these traveling vehicles can immediately give real-time information on the location of the truck and enable a response, should a delay be imminent. Information on the route taken by the driver can also be altered should roadways be blocked due to bad weather or if an additional consignment needs to be picked up. Digital technologies can play an effective role in optimizing the use of vehicles, health condition monitoring, and offering insights into the use of the vehicle by the driver. This can ensure greater safety of the vehicle and a reduction in accidents.

The advantages of connected transportation are multi-fold and the returns on business immense. With autonomous trucks and truck platooning there can be a huge gain in fuel efficiency apart from a well-planned supply chain. With connected logistics, the supply chain can be just-in-time thereby reducing inventory costs and warehousing space. Food wastage causes huge losses in retail, with temperature controlled and monitored trucks with real-time visibility, wastage of perishable goods can be reduced and also enable regulatory compliance.

We see that the data generated from connected transportation has tremendous possibilities to impact unrelated industries as well. For instance, imagine an agricultural enterprise creating a hybrid seed for a specific region based on the data collected from plowing machines, or railway track maintenance being fully automated thanks to the data picked up by trains passing over them, or a ship recording ocean pollution as it is sailing. All these are solutions are very possible and work on them has already begun.

With extensive domain expertise, a number of industries including mining, farming, logistics, and automotive have benefited from our offerings. Being an ecosystem integrator, clients can expect end-to- end capabilities which range from sensors to insights. Infosys solutions are crafted to ensure business outcomes around engineering, operational, maintenance, energy, supply chain, information, and service efficiency. Contact us at LiveWorx 2018 to capitalize on our IPs, and begin a conversation.