‘The Connected Truck’
Carried out for the second time since 2016, Continental in a recent study titled ‘The Connected Truck’ identified that while satisfaction in the transport industry for software used to manage drivers, vehicles and logistics operations is growing, over 33% are not using the solutions.
The study discovered that the percentage of non-users (mostly small companies) was roughly the same as in the previous survey.
Reflecting on current developments, it was also clear that when it comes to equipment, logistics providers are interested in driver-assistance functions, fuel-saving technology, vehicle tracking and software security.
Tailor-Made Solutions in Logistics
In comparison to 2016, the report highlighted a clear trend: logistics and transport companies using software solutions are more satisfied with them on the whole.
Companies surveyed rated monitoring driver behaviour half a point better on a 1-6 scale when compared to 2016, ranking this software as the most important kind, followed by software for planning driver deployment, vehicle management and logistics operations.
“Logistics companies that operate small fleets are just as much affected by rising costs and pressure to increase efficiency as large transport companies,” says Gilles Mabire, who heads Continental’s Commercial Vehicles and Services Business Unit.
“But small companies are not yet convinced that software can significantly benefit them. The industry must address this issue and provide solutions that are tailor-made for these customers. It must also point out the advantages of existing solutions for smaller companies. If these big differences in use continue to prevail, the gap might grow between large, profitable companies that make extensive use of technology on the one hand and smaller ones with shrinking profits on the other.”
Demand Rises for Driver Assistance Systems and Fuel-Saving Solutions
Of those Surveyed, roughly two-thirds are looking for more driver-assistance functions, while more than 50% would like fuel-saving technologies. Other technological interests included more comfort functions in the interior, tire pressure monitoring systems, and systems for better communication.
“These needs are in keeping with current changes in the transport sector. New regulations have been introduced to improve road safety and reduce vehicle emissions. An example is the EU directive to reduce CO2 emissions. As a consequence, the demand for these technologies will remain high, and it can be expected to increase,” added Mabire.
“Fuel accounts for a large portion of the costs in a fleet, and this is where logistics providers can achieve the biggest savings.”
With pressure to cut costs and increase efficiency, these factors are affecting the willingness to invest. Logistics companies need to ensure that their investments pay off quickly.
Of those surveyed over 75% stated that investments in fuel-saving driving have to pay for themselves within two years; for those with a small number of vehicles, the time period is even shorter.
“Their requirements are challenging, which means that significant benefits are expected from new technologies. Manufacturers and suppliers must therefore develop solutions that yield economic benefits within a short time,” said Mabire.
It was also emphasised in the study the need for software in order to fulfil high-security standards.
“Increasing data traffic has opened up greater potential areas of attack for cybercriminals. The industry must offer solutions that are suitably sophisticated and practice-proven. But security costs money; it can’t be provided for free,” commented Mabire.
Roughly 50% of companies surveyed had already taken defensive measures for attacks on logistics or fleet management systems, while 75% said they were not planning any major investments in the next six to 12 months.
“Real willingness to invest is not keeping up with statements about the importance of this topic. One reason might be that no transport company has yet been the victim of a cyberattack. But the growing number of attempted attacks is a sign that the problem is becoming increasingly important,” concluded Mabire.