Among the technologies that are making their way into trucking that were highlighted at Trimble’s in.sight 2018 user conference and expo in Houston Sept 9-12 was the concept of edge computing or analytics.
Used in manufacturing and other industries, edge computing puts data processing and analysis power closer to the source of the data – on the truck, in this instance.
Areas where edge computing can be used in trucking include vehicle diagnostics and autonomous vehicles.
“Edge computing: a way to take advantage of all the data on the truck,” Thomas Fansler, president Trimble Transportation Mobility explained. A lane control system that alerts the driver is a good example of that.
Currently, telematics devices collect a huge amount of data on a truck. But “there’s a cost to send that data” back to a server, Keith Mader, vice president of analytics, Trimble Transportation said.
“Our video intelligence can detect a hard-braking event. By using (or analyzing) that video onboard, we can cut down on the “noise” of false positives.”
There are tradeoffs, Mader noted. The truck needs data storage and its needs computing power. Both of which are costly.
But there is potential, especially in some segments such as refrigerated or food transport.
Reporting on trailer temperature, for example. Currently, only temperature readings that are out of a pre-determined range are reported back to fleet managers via telematics where the determination is made whether or not there is a problem.
With edge analytics, those readings can be analyzed onboard and pushed directly to the driver. “In the future, the driver is given the nature of what is detected and then given five steps, for example, he can take to mitigate that,” Mader said. “You are putting the power in the driver’s hand.”