IOT in Transportation

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The Internet of Things spans across many industries and transportation is no exception. With increased communication and data collection abilities such as GPS, cloud computing, machine-to-machine (M2M), and cell phone triangulation/mobile devices, more data is available. This data provides information on travel time, origin destination, vehicle volumes, and traffic movements. It can be applied to adaptive signal control, V2V/V2I projects, and engineering and construction projects that rely on traffic data collection. Whether by air, ground or sea, transportation and logistics are essential components to many enterprises’ productivity, and access to real-time data is critical. An intelligence revolution is under foot, and it’s changing how we think about travel at every altitude. Using the latest Internet of Things (IoT) solutions, leaders in the transportation industry are reaching new heights in business performance, whether they’re operating right here on the ground or 30,000 feet in the air. Lots of things, like parking spaces, are hard to find or keep track of. Connecting them will improve city and transport services, reduce costs and protect the environment. These connected applications help transport operators to reduce costs and improve services – for example finding problems with railway points before they cause delays.

How the Internet of Things is improving Transportation

End-to-End Visibility

Mobile devices such as radio frequency identification (RFID), barcode scanners and mobile computers are dramatically improving supply chain visibility and operations. Many transportation and logistics companies using RFID today are reaching nearly 100 percent shipping and receiving accuracy, 99.5 percent inventory accuracy, 30 percent faster order processing and 30 percent reduction in labour costs.

Warehouse and Yard Management

Sitting at the centre of transportation and logistics businesses are the warehouse and/or yard, and their efficiency directly impacts the cost of doing business and the ability to compete. The first step towards optimum efficiency is embracing digital technology such as IoT-enabled mobile devices designed to track inventory data, equipment and vehicles. These devices can capture and share mission-critical data across the cloud, ensuring that the right products are in the right place at the right time.

Fleet Management

Fleet Management software backed with IoT will now do more than just route planning and load assignment. The Fleet Manager will be able to monitor fuel consumption, vehicle uptime, drivers’ behavior and many such more parameters. At the same time the system can be configured to automatically trigger an action in case an anomaly is detected.

Real-Time Customer Servicing

In context of Logistics, a shipment can be tagged with a GPS tracking chip that interact with the system itself. There will be no need for a human dispatcher to make an entry in the system to schedule a delivery or track it. Machine to Machine interaction will take care of this process.

Smart Performance Tracking

Transportation and Logistics is currently plagued with rising insurance expenses and assuring if drivers are following the traffic rules. Along with the ‘Hour of Service’ regulation kicking in, measuring hours a driver spends behind the wheel and making optimal use of hours available has never been more important. Sensors on the vehicle along with mobile app will help in calculating this information accurately.

Applications of IoT in Transport

Transport Logistics

Especially helpful for long-haul cargo operators and last-mile delivery providers. Containers and packages can be tracked and environmental conditions monitored through on-board sensors. Speciality shipping services to track cargo that is temperature-sensitive, hazardous or extremely valuable. Prevention of theft and product damage Delivery, scheduling and placement can be automated. Using IoT for transport logistics ensures that products are delivered to the right place, at the time and in the right condition. It minimises human intervention and reduces fuel costs.

Smart Toll Collection

Enables real-time financial transactions.Automates revenue collection, bill generation and toll metering. Pricing based on demand or time of the day is possible .Monitoring and assessing of vehicle parc and traffic flow. Smart toll collection enables governments to create accurate billing records and reduce traffic congestion.

Rails and Mass Transit

IoT provides an inexpensive and advanced way to optimize performance and bring qualities of MRT to other transportation options like buses. This improves services and service delivery in the areas of scheduling, optimizing transport times, reliability, managing equipment issues, and responding to customer needs.


The primary concerns of traffic are managing congestion, reducing accidents, and parking.

Traffic management impacts their frequency. Construction sites, poor rerouting, and a lack of information about traffic status are all issues that lead to incidents. IoT provides solutions in the form of better information sharing with the public, and between various parties directly affecting road traffic.

Smart Parking

Sensors can detect whether a space is occupied or not in real time. Drivers can be provided with pictures of available parking spaces. Helps increase utilisation for car parks. Smart parking enables more organised parking, reduces traffic congestion and benefits local authorities through higher revenues.


IoT offers few significant improvements to personal vehicles. Most benefits come from better control over related infrastructure and the inherent flaws in automobile transport; however, IoT does improve personal vehicles as personal spaces. IoT brings the same improvements and customization to a vehicle as those in the home.

The Benefits of IoT in  Transportation

Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) solutions
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is exploring the use of Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) communications to reduce traffic accidents and increase overall safety. Current V2V technology is designed to avoid accidents and warn drivers of impending crashes.

Real-time vehicle location information and data
Mobile application, location-enabled IoT devices can alert waiting passengers with real-time vehicle location information and data, estimated trip times, and notifications when they should leave their current locations to catch a bus or train. These IoT devices also allow transit officials to analyze and improve routes and options based on aggregated data.

Safety compliance

IoT devices can ensure drivers are adhering to established industry and/or employer guidelines. Organizations can track how fast vehicles are moving, how long they remain idle, and enable Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking to know exactly where any fleet vehicle is at any point in time. The aggregated IoT solution data can help transit authorities identify operation areas with high risk and develop new safety measures to keep workers and passengers safe.

Increased planning and operational efficiency

Big Data can be used to assess where processes can be tightened up, errors eliminated and unnecessary spending reduced. Strukton Rail in the Netherlands is a working example of how Big Data is being successfully utilised to identify problems before they result in delays and reduce downtime for maintenance.

Better air quality

Big Data can be used to assess emission levels in different areas of a city – this data can be used in the future planning, design and development of cities and, in particular, their transport networks.Madrid currently uses such information to assist in the design of pollution control projects.


Today’s transportation infrastructure is stressed to the breaking point. There are more cars on the roads, more travelers passing through airports, and more people using light rail and other forms of public transit than ever before.At the same time, security and efficiency have never been more critical. Airlines are under pressure to cut costs. Airports are under fire for long security lines and mishandled baggage. Public transit agencies are struggling to keep up with surging demand across an aging infrastructure. And drivers are increasingly frustrated by highways choked with traffic and escalating commute times. One of the key challenges facing the successful utilisation of Big Data is the need to identify and promote suitable commercial business models which benefit all parties.Currently, there is a perceived culture that it is not economically viable for businesses to invest in the development of open architectures and innovative platforms.

IoT in Transportation Market

The global IoT in transportation market was valued at $135.35 billion in 2016, and is expected to reach $328.76 billion by 2023, growing at a CAGR of 13.7% from 2017 to 2023. The major factors driving the market growth are extended connectivity; enhanced internet penetration; government initiatives for smart cities; decreased cost of powerful sensors & controllers; growth in information, communication, & technology (ICT); and expenditure by governments in the several developed and the developing regions including North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific. The key players operating in the global IoT in transportation market includes Alcatel-Lucent, AT&T Inc., Garmin International Inc., IBM Corp., Denso Corp., Thales Group, General Electric, Verizon Communications Inc., Cisco Systems, Inc., and TomTom N.V. These players have expanded their market presence by adopting various business strategies such as acquisition, geographical expansion, product development, strategic alliance, and collaboration.

MeenaG Staff

Internet of Things Enthusiast

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