A Smartphone on Wheels: Here's how tomorrow's intelligent trucks work

September 2016

Personalised, predictive and always driveable. Tomorrow’s intelligent truck is more similar to a smartphone on wheels than a traditional vehicle.

Personalised, predictive and always driveable. Tomorrow’s intelligent truck is more similar to a smartphone on wheels than a traditional vehicle. "Within a few years this is going to revolutionise productivity in the transport industry," says Hayder Wokil, Director Quality & Uptime at Volvo Trucks.Today there are about 175,000 online-connected Volvo trucks on Europe’s roads. A number of them can already today send information about when they need maintenance and some of the necessary service work can even be administrated remotely. However, this is just the beginning...

Hyder Wokil

"In coming few years, for instance, the truck will be able to monitor its own health in real-time, promoting easier and quicker service which leads to higher productivity for all concerned – drivers, workshops and haulage firms," says Hayder Wokil.

 

Personalised, predictive and always driveable. Tomorrow’s intelligent truck is more similar to a smartphone on wheels than a traditional vehicle.

Within a few years this is going to revolutionise productivity in the transport industry

In the future the truck will also make workshop administration easier by booking its own service as and when necessary, booking the appropriate mechanics for the relevant jobs and advance-ordering the necessary parts for delivery to the workshop. Repairs will be able to be performed wherever the truck happens to be and will be carried out at an appropriate time in its working schedule.

"Service will be synchronised with the truck’s operating timetable and will be booked at the nearest workshop at a time when the vehicle would not normally be in operation, for instance at night or when the driver has to take a legislated break. Using online connectivity the truck will also be able to carry out simple self-repairs remotely," explains Hayder Wokil.

Tomorrow’s truck will also enable more flexibility. As the connectivity potential for trucks continues developing, vehicles will be able to be specified to suit each individual operation, which in turn allows for greater cost efficiencies.

The next generation of trucks will be increasingly personalised and will for example be able to be tailored to match the operator’s needs and driving style. It will also be able to update its own configuration to suit specific transport assignments.

"The next generation of trucks will be increasingly personalised and will for example be able to be tailored to match the operator’s needs and driving style. It will also be able to update its own configuration to suit specific transport assignments," explains Hayder Wokil.

One important prerequisite for exploiting the benefits of connectivity is the collection of large quantities of data.According to Per Adamsson, Director Strategy & Business Development at Volvo Group Telematics, today’s trucks will follow the trend shown in recent years by smartphones.

"In the automotive industry there is a lot of talk about ‘The Smartphone on Wheels Evolution’", reveals Per Adamsson. "In the near future trucks will be able to communicate with other road users as well as with mobile remotely-enabled devices such as cycle helmets, helping to cut the risk of accidents and reducing unplanned downtime."

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