Transportation research consortium Efficient and Reliable Transportation of Consignments has developed a prototype software platform that can optimize shipment costs and carbon dioxide emissions down to the level of individual deliveries.
The ERTOC project, which is a two-year research collaboration between Ricardo, GS1 UK, Unipart Logistics, IRIS Technology and Coventry University, aims to demonstrate technology capable of driving business improvement and sustainability throughout the supply chain from factory to point of sale. The program is part-funded by the UK’s innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board.
The software allows fleet managers, drivers and logistics customers to optimize operations through the use of intelligent route planning and load sharing for maximum financial return and environmental benefit. Data from the software can also be used for environmental reporting, engineering firm Ricardo says.
Existing logistics tracking systems are generally not integrated with other utilities and provide limited vehicle-level information such as, for example, the fuel consumption attributable to any given journey or load, Ricardo says. By creating an open architecture through which such route planning and consignment-tracking systems can be integrated with vehicle-level information – including real-time fuel consumption, location and loading – the ERTOC partners have enabled the consignment-level carbon tracking.
The system has so far been demonstrated in a 7.5 metric ton truck application typical of the operations of project partner Unipart Logistics. However, the open data architecture of the ERTOC system can be applied across many modes of transport, including road, rail, air and sea, and without regard to international borders, Ricardo says.
In March, tire pressure product manufacturer Vigia Canada released a tool that allows truck drivers and fleet managers to check tire pressure via an in-cab display or remotely using a computer or mobile device.
The NM343 integrates tire inflation information with existing fleet telematics systems, allowing access to information on the status of the automatic Vigia Tire Pressure System from anywhere with an internet connection. A digital cab-mounted control panel with electronic sensors provides immediate and full tire reinflating capability with only a 3 PSI drop in pressure, Vigia said.