The greatest technological boom and advancements of modern times are currently taking place. These new technologies bring progress to every aspect of business, including customer-facing technologies, predictive inventory, and IoT in transportation management. Smart tech is changing the way companies do business, like the adoption of AI and IoT to improve operations and optimize data in transportation and logistics.  

This technology is already in use in major cities and is quickly moving into transportation management. The United States Department of Transportation will award 40 million dollars to the city that best shows how to use technology for the revolution in the movement of goods and people.

What impact will AI and IoT have on transportation management? What does it mean for you and your clients?

Ho Do AI and the IoT Work?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) enables machines to recognize and simulate human intelligence. These machines have the ability to recognize patterns and gather data to analyze, forecast, and track future developments. AI automates learning, allowing businesses to make better, safer, and faster business choices.

According to Stanford’s Artificial Intelligence and Life in 2030 One Hundred Year Study, AI will have a significant impact on all infrastructure. AI can collect and process data faster than humans, from urban public transportation to rural wastewater systems to transportation management. This is a drastic change in the way that businesses use data to create strategies.

IoT is the Internet of Things. It is a network of interconnected devices, generally via Wi-Fi, software, and sensors, which exchange data. These devices can include, but are not limited to, vehicles, electronics, home appliances, and robots. There are no limits to connectivity. There are currently 15 billion connected devices and, according to industry forecasts, this number will reach 50 billion in the next two years.

Uses of AI and IoT in Transportation: Autonomous Trucks

Semi-autonomous and autonomous trucks are already making their way onto the transport market. Trucks can use artificial intelligence to help detect their surroundings and figure out the best speeds and routes to follow. IoT-enabled autonomous vehicles are fast becoming the norm, from Uber’s self-driving vehicle to Tesla’s Semi.

Self-driving cars aren’t fully autonomous yet. They function more like an “autopilot” which allows drivers to be in the passenger seat and focus on other things, while the truck drives itself. This lack of full autonomy is mainly due to social and government pressures.

IoT makes it possible for self-driving trucks, which are interconnected with warehouses and route planners, to become fully autonomous. These trucks will be safer and way more efficient than trained drivers.

Connected robots and drones are rapidly emerging as new delivery methods. This will have a significant impact on last mile logistics and ecommerce. This is but one use of IoT in transportation management.

Tracking and Reporting

IoT provides real-time insights that can be tracked, reported, and analyzed. It creates a log that tracks shipments and routes, which can help manage transport on both at macro and micro level. Remote monitoring allows companies to quickly check if the truck is having maintenance problems or delays.

IoT eliminates the need to fill out lengthy paperwork, which can sometimes be inaccurate or fudged. This allows for more precise and current analysis.

Strong Analytics

Another use of IoT in transportation is tracking and reporting, which allows companies to track their trucks and shipments. With this data, engineers can make predictive forecasts using artificial intelligence.

Analyzing data continuously can identify inefficiencies in planning and inventory, stocking, loading, unloading, and even within the workforce. This data can help develop a strategy for creating more efficient processes.

Optimized Traffic

Artificial intelligence is important in areas such as pattern recognition and incident detection. AI analyzes traffic patterns in order to optimize and plan routes based upon peak hours, maintenance, and construction.

AI machines can learn new patterns and keep routes optimized and updated because of their learning abilities. Then, IoT can track and gather this information to aid in improving transportation management and planning.

Warehouse Management

IoT-connected devices and Artificial Intelligence have already found their way into many warehouses, including Amazon’s. Robot workers can pick items up more quickly and maintain high quality standards.

RFID tags have also changed the inventory game. RFID tags can be connected to the cloud to share the location of any given pallet or package. Staff don’t have to scan every item in order to verify inventory or deliver them. The RFID system updates the inventory automatically in real time, so staff can just load and unload containers.

This allows stock-keeping to be more accurate and saves time. RFID tags can keep 95% of the stock accurately, and the average inventory rate hovers around 65%. Nearly 96% of big box retailers plan to adopt RFID technology tags because of these numbers.

IoT devices can run internal diagnostics of trucks and alert them to issues before the truck can. This makes it safer and increases the vehicle’s lifetime value.

Self-driving trucks can react faster to accidents than humans and can even predict potential accidents and, therefore, prevent them .

IoT can also improve warehouse security and safety by enabling automatic door locking and theft detection. AI can detect suspicious movements and alert managers about the possibility of asset loss. The AI can then identify and improve the areas of concern using this data.

AI and IoT in Transportation Management Equals Streamlined Processes

AI can study multiple factors simultaneously, while IoT can connect everything simultaneously. This allows for a comprehensive analysis of all aspects of transportation management.

AI and IoT together can look at warehouse floor temperatures, inventory, safety, performance, and equipment.

IoT devices can link warehousing and loading procedures. Sensors can then determine the truck utilization rate. This can be connected to transport where semi-autonomous trucks provide continuous updates about safety and location.

Then, AI can help figure out the speed at which unloading is completed and last mile delivery. These two technologies work together to optimize routing, planning, and other aspects of the transportation business. AI and IoT can analyze many facets of data to improve efficiency from A to Z.

AI and IoT in Transportation Management: Summary

The Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence are rapidly taking over transport management. These technologies help optimize shipment and make processes more productive, efficient, and profitable. When AI and IoT data analysis and prediction are available, we expect trucking capacities to be irrelevant.