|Most important external forces impacting the trucking industry today versus 2020. Source: Truck 2020. Click to enlarge.|
IBM released the findings of a new global study which shows that trucks will become more fuel efficient, environmentally sound and safer due to the adoption of new technologies throughout the vehicle. The use of these innovations will help truck manufacturers differentiate their vehicles, as the study shows that brand names of trucks are becoming less important.
The Global Truck 2020 Study, titled “Transcending Turbulence,” was developed by IBM Global Business Services’ Auto practice and the IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV). The study—unveiled at last week’s CALSTART Hybrid Truck Users Forum National Conference—comprises interviews with 91 executives in 13 countries, representing the entire truck value chain.
The study indicates that truck industry executives believe smart systems will play an increasingly prominent role in trucks as well as transportation networks. A few key findings:
Technology. 71% of respondents said technology will be one of the most important external forces impacting the industry in 2020, up from 61% today. Technology will not be limited to the trucks themselves but will be embedded in roads and traffic signals increasing the interaction and predictive analytical safety capabilities of these transport carriers. For example, telematics will impact everything about the vehicle.
Truck manufacturers that effectively employ telematics to build solutions for their customers stand to successfully differentiate and redefine their brands. Telematics will reduce service time by allowing remote and faster diagnostics and also will enable prognostic capabilities and proactive servicing. Today&rs quo;s vehicle diagnostic techniques typically require the technician to physically connect to the vehicle. However, telematics capabilities can enable remote diagnostics of a vehicle’s issues and use of remote patches when possible.
In addition, manufacturers will use telematics to provide a real-time remote read of a vehicle’s parameters, allowing for proactive service or other action based on the reading.
Telematics will also enable stronger solutions for vehicle safety that have traditionally been addressed through manual methods and training. For example, automated speed controls linked to the navigation system could slow a truck down when its driver approaches blind curves, or automated braking could be applied if a truck approached an exit with too much speed. Not only will telematics be useful in avoiding accidents, but data recorded through telematics will also be essential in protecting companies from litigation when accidents occur.
Globalization. 54% of the executives surveyed said that globalization will be one of the most important external forces impacting the truck industry in 2020, up from 48% today. Truck manufacturers are just beginning to establish their global footprint, while light vehicle manufacturers have fought the hard battles of platform creation, process standardization and the development of global supply chains.
Sustainability. 48% of respondents said that sustainability will be one of the most important external forces in 2020, up from 32% today. Environmental and fuel efficiency standards along with new safety capabilities mandated by government regulations will force the trucking industry to change aggressively over the next decade.
Solutions relating to driver assistance, regulatory compliance and sustainability are closely linked. For example, a manufacturer might offer a solution that uses telematics to help determine the roads on which a vehicle is approved to travel and communicates that information to the driver, assisting both the driver and regulatory compliance.