ERoad is using Microsoft AI to assist further development of CoreTemp, a high-value-added predictive analytics software for refrigerated vehicles and trailers. This is to facilitate a swifter and more extensive integration of ERoad's solution into the expansive reefer market, consisting of more than 400,000 trailers solely in the North American market.
ERoad said this is just the first in a significant roadmap of AI enhancements that will help it deliver to markets at speed.
"We have been actively looking for collaborations to help drive our growth strategy, and who better to partner with than Microsoft. This collaboration doesn't just speed up our product development and open up new segments of the North American market, but it will give us product functionality that can benefit our New Zealand and Australian customers as well”, said Mark Heine, CEO of ERoad.
"ERoad is a great example of how Microsoft's cloud and AI platforms can empower businesses to harness the power of data and AI to create new value and experiences for their customers. We are looking forward to seeing the impact of these projects and features on the transport industry and beyond," said Vanessa Sorenson, managing director of Microsoft New Zealand.
ERoad said it will deliver AI-powered tools such as:
- Dashboards that can generate customized, interactive reports and insights based on user preferences and feedback.
- Voice assistants that provide hands-free and conversational access to ERoad's products and services, such as navigation, alerts, and analytics.
- Image recognition that detects and classifies objects and events from the cameras installed on the vehicles, such as traffic signs, road conditions, and accidents.
ERoad recently ran a companywide AI innovation event with Microsoft, where teams of developers, data scientists, and user experience specialists developed projects using Microsoft Azure and AI services. Two resulting projects will bring significant benefits to ERoad and its customers by mid-2024.
AI Digital Advisor
Examples of the early benefits of the collaboration include AI Digital Advisor, which leverages generative AI to act as a strategic consultant for fleet operations.
By analyzing telematics data, it optimizes asset load balancing and driver efficiency. ERoad said AI Advisor will go beyond mere suggestions by providing interactive graphical representations and prompts. Such visual aids will seamlessly integrate into ERoad's user interface, designed to enable customers to intuitively explore actionable insights and receive guidance on enhancing operational efficiency.
Complementing the Digital AI Advisor is what ERoad calls a refined interactive model focused on predictive maintenance and management of reefer operations. This innovative system will utilize AI to identify patterns and anomalies that can predict maintenance issues before they become critical. It goes a step further by scrutinizing reefer conditions, preempting shutdowns, and suggesting corrective actions to maintain optimal operations, the company explained.
Eroad said it has already seen great benefit from AI adoption in product development with GitHub Copilot, an AI-powered coding assistant, for its developers. GitHub Copilot helps developers write better code faster by suggesting relevant code snippets based on the context and intent of the code. According to ERoad, over 40% of new code and 70% of unit tests are being written by AI, resulting in improved quality, efficiency, and speed to market.
"GitHub Copilot has been a game-changer for us. It has enabled us to deliver more value to our customers faster and with fewer bugs. It has also freed up our developers to focus on the more creative and challenging aspects of their work," Tim Mole, CTO of ERoad, said.
Thermo King Data Sharing Partnership
In other news, ERoad and Thermo King, have agreed on a strategic data-sharing partnership. This collaboration empowers ERoad to seamlessly integrate with Thermo King’s TracKing telematics equipment, a standard feature on Thermo King Precedent trailer refrigeration units since 2018.
ERoad said this integration provides customers with easy access to cloud-based, secure data integration, eliminating the need for additional hardware. Customers of both ERoad and Thermo King can opt in at any time to authorize ERoad to access their Thermo King units, enabling them to visualize temperature data, monitor alarms, and utilize two-way refrigerated micro control, all through the ERoad 360 platform.
“This integration and partnership with Thermo King and ERoad helps advance and support our mutual customers and provides the critical insights in reefer control that shippers and carriers need to ensure they are protecting and serving their customers well,” said Heine.