Keep Calm and Truck on More Efficiently
Managing idle time takes savings right to the bottom line.
We know that as vehicles get “smarter” and fleet management becomes more precise thanks to connected technologies, fuel consumption is expected to decrease significantly. A little over a year ago, this article quoted a National Renewable Energy Laboratory researcher as stating that “the impact can be dramatic” as we move toward a driverless future. The same researcher acknowledged the need for more understanding of how these vehicles will work before we can expect the benefits, but the potential is clear. Air pollution can be drastically reduced as we move toward the emergence and spread of autonomous vehicles.
While we do still need a greater understanding of the intricacies of driverless cars, it’s also important for those interested in these topics to understand how exactly technology will relate to lower fuel consumption. In particular, this tends to be discussed in rather vague terms when we talk about shipping fleets. We’re already seeing a lot of changes in this industry due to IoT (Internet of Things) technology and semi-autonomous features. Lower fuel consumption is one of the benefits that is frequently cited, but we often don’t consider how this is achieved.
The Answers Are Out There
The key is knowing when to idle
Those looking for an answer can find a whole section of this site devoted to how these technologies are able to maximize fuel efficiency in shipping fleets. This includes more specifics on the potential benefits, like the ways in which businesses stand to save.
The first goal is to reduce idling time. Trucks out on the road tend to spend a lot of time with the engine running while not actually moving, and this idle time wastes incredible amounts of fuel. But it’s not as simple as telling drivers to turn the trucks off at all times when they’re not moving. Smart fleet management systems are working to compile data on when idling may or may not be necessary, so as to educate drivers on how to better handle these issues. Some companies already making use of this automatic data collection are seeing massive savings.
Big Savings Possible
A study by the U.S. Department of Energy also noted that driving in more calm and controlled manner can reduce fuel costs (and therefore consumption) by about a third! One of the chief benefits of fleet management technologies is that they can provide drivers with automatically compiled safety reports, as well as real-time updates about driving habits. Speeding and erratic behavior are recognized and pointed out, enabling drivers to implement better habits and save fuel as a result.
Data can drive better drivers
Finally, we’ve already seen that fleet management involves the most efficient routing practices the industry has ever seen. Vehicle GPS connected to systems looking at everything from the weather to traffic flow are combining to provide drivers with up-to-date information about their routes. This means less time spent on poor directions or unnecessary road time, which in some cases can make for the most impressive fuel savings.
These are the specific benefits at the core of the idea of smart fleets or fleet driving technologies. They have potentially great positive impact on company costs and environmental pollution. As the technology continues to advance, we also expect the ecological benefits to increase as well. It begins with better fuel efficiency, which helps both businesses and the earth.
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Looking For Ways to Stop Losing Time and Money
Several countries have been prey to the never ending struggle of traffic and productivity. The world is losing trillions of dollars every day just because of traffic. Thus, there is a call to end congested traffic once and for all.
According to Forbes, the US lost $124 billion indirect and direct losses because of traffic. Other countries with severe traffic issues such as India, Philippines, Brazil, Mexico, etc. are also losing billions every day.
Those who commute to work have to leave their homes at an average of one hour every day just to avoid getting late. The spent fuel, energy and time while being stuck in traffic is so not worth it for people who also have families to take care, provide and nurture.
Although a lot of the workforce, especially women, shift to home-based or internet-based jobs, there is still an urgent need to develop smart mobility technology. It is going to help the government decongest city areas and find alternative routes to avoid getting trapped in a traffic jam.
This issue has tied up many government organizations for decades, and urban development planners are in the race to time to make the longed-for changes. Thankfully, the digital age is supplying answers to this, and we see a silver lining to this global malady.
Smart mobility, as the word suggests, is being able to travel and go to places using smart devices and the internet. Numerous studies have been done to integrate this into the way people commute and drive to work, and urban planners across the globe have seen four viable ways to decongest metro traffic forever.
The Audacious Helsinki Goal
Taxis are a traditional transportation option
One brave move made by Helsinki, Finland, is to aim to make people feel they no longer need a car to get to different places in the capital before 2025. Residents will be able to choose between private and public transport providers while giving them the option to choose the fastest and/or the cheapest way of getting to their destinations whenever and wherever they are.
This goal, however, poses another challenge for developing countries since a big part of their population relies on transportation for a living; as bus and three-wheel bike drivers. It is also going to slow down small-scale car companies who are thriving at this decade.
Despite the challenges, the possibility of smart mobility gives a silver lining to those who find themselves unhappy about how traffic affects their lives.
The Fantastic 4 Of Traffic Decongestion
Smart mobility also has its pros and cons. On-demand ride requests such as Uber and Lyft will affect the small and medium-scale taxi companies in many countries. Nonetheless, these four fantastic ideas will surely change world travel in many ways.
Ridesharing is a promising solution to traffic. Offering empty car seats for people going to the same destination or the same route will remove a lot of cars from the road. Since the number of cars is reduced, it will help decongest traffic among large metros all over the world.
However, sharing a ride isn’t going to be a readily accepted norm for people nowadays since private car owners see their car space as their private space. Also, the risk of having bad experiences while riding a stranger’s car is high although services like Lyft are working to ease those concerns.
Two wheels are one commuting option
On the other hand, bike commuting also offers another healthy alternative to get to different destinations. Although many people prefer bike riding as a recreational exercise rather than transportation, it would decrease the number of cars going in and around the city.
One of the caveats of bicycle commuting is that not everyone is healthy enough to get to work using a bicycle. Only those who have physical capabilities and are physically ready for bike commute can get to work through it.
Another problem is that some people who travel to the city are too far to get to work after an hour of a bicycle ride. An average rider can bike only up to 15 km per hour, and that means an hour car ride of 100 km can mean almost half a day of work for them.
Car sharing is also one of the ways urban planners see to lower the number of cars going in and out of the city. It allows private individuals and big companies to share their car with other people while they are at work or when they are not using it.
The downside of car sharing is that it won’t necessarily reduce the number of cars going in and out during peak hours since that is the time when almost everyone will be inside their vehicles. Only large transportation companies who have many cars to “rent” will be able to profit from this.
On-Demand Ride Services
On-demand ride services such as Uber and Lyft, allow people to offer their personal vehicles as pre-arranged transportation services. Using GPS and mobile app technologies can turn ordinary drivers into competent transportation service contractors.
However, this technology doesn’t guarantee that the traffic situation in populous metros will improve.
Urban planners see smart mobility as an answer to the urgent need for saving cities and urban commuters the hassle of congested roads and traffic. Although traffic congestion is still present, the upcoming decade promises progress about the future of commuting and transportation.
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