Connected trucking: a vision of the future of logistics

You may have missed the news that Daimler Trucks recently introduced the logistics world to the future of trucking on a busy autobahn near Dsseldorf. The famous heavy-duty automobile company presented a demonstration of one of its latest technologies – automated connected trucking.

Connected trucking

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Digital connected trucks

The digital connection of trucks on display featured three Mercedes-Benz Actros 1845 units and four two-piece tractor units and Krone curtainside semi-trailers. All units were being driven autonomously via a 5G Wi-Fi network. The trucks were running in a platoon formation, but most importantly they were operating on a busy main autobahn alongside private traffic and other trucks. Digitally connected trucking has been a big talking point in the last few years and the development is expected to reap huge savings in distribution and costs in the long term. Significant savings will also be made in the short term.

What about trucker jobs?

The big question is always whether we should be researching any new industrial revolution that will invariably eradicate jobs. This is a hard question for companies such as Daimler to answer; however, in terms of the environment, there seems little choice but to technologise. Autonomous trucks driving in formation can reduce fuel consumption by up to 7%, while taking up much less space, reducing incidences of traffic jams and improving safety on the roads.

What are the other advantages?

By connecting the vehicle to the internet, Daimler argues that the entire logistics industry could be part of the revolution. The truck would become a component of an existing integrated network that communicates with factories, workshops, weather reports and insurance companies.

Whether you are managing pallet racking in Ireland or shelling prawns in Portugal, real-time information about your delivery or pick-up will always be available. This will allow logistic planners to create detailed contingency operations in addition to making decisions on how best to utilise freed-up time resources, with distribution professionals already chomping at the bit to get started in this new reality. If you are looking to improve your distribution set-up with a visit to a supplier such as, now would appear to be a good time to do so.

Furthermore, in everyday situations, receiving live updates will reduce waiting times, reduce paperwork and reduce the bottlenecking that results from non-connected trucking.

Nickolas Hunter

Nickolas Hunter

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