PeopleNet and TMW Systems 2017 in.Sight User Conference

The Drivewyze team recently attended the PeopleNet/TMW in/sight User Conference. We attended lots of interesting sessions, and we also hosted our own session called “Bypass Reinvented: The Benefits of Updating Your Weigh Station Bypass Service Technology.”

It was tough to fit all the new technology, industry news, and photos into our in.sight recap blog post – but we did our best:

Meeting Needs of On-Demand Economy Requires Agility

With the advent of e-commerce, consumers can now find and purchase products at anytime on their personal mobile devices and expect them to be delivered within days. And transportation providers are under ever-increasing pressure from shippers to meet those expectations, executives with TMW Systems and PeopleNet told those attending the opening session of their user conference in Nashville.

TMW president David Wangler and PeopleNet president Brian McLaughlin told the conference’s nearly 2,000 attendees, that growing online sales and rising consumer expectations have fueled the need for greater transparency as well as faster delivery times in the supply chain. They outlined a vision for a connected supply chain using connected trucks and electronic logging devices to help carriers accomplish this transparency and agility. Trimble and its divisions provides services to carriers responsible for moving 32 percent of all annual truckloads in the United States.

“Regardless of product category, the on-demand economy is revolutionizing the movement of goods from supplier to end user,” Wangler said. “The digital mobility first offered in early devices has today become the catalyst for the millions of business-critical actions occurring every second. The winners in this revolution will be those who maximize their ability to leverage information in real-time for increased efficiency and agility.”

McLaughlin said Timble is leading the industry in developing solutions that can provide transportation providers and their shippers greater visibility in each step of the order and fulfillment process. The company plans to accomplish this through improvements on load tracking and data speed from the truck to the back office. PeopleNet is also looking at providing driver retention analytics that can predict with 95 percent accuracy when a driver is going to quit.

“The right technology, and the right technology partners, can enable supply chain simplicity, precision and efficiency,” he said.

At a panel discussion held on the first day of the conference, attendees learned that while there’s been a significant downward trend in traffic fatalities, the costs of collisions and the costs to settle resulting lawsuits have gone up. Jim Angel, vice president of video intelligence solutions for PeopleNet, shared statistics that show while truckers are found responsible for less than 30 percent of collisions, their share of the percentage of those costs is generally much greater.

CTO Sees VR Goggles, Remote-Controlled Trucks in Near Future

Another panelist – Mark Botticelli, Trimble’s chief technology officer, offered conference goers a look at some technologies that will aid drivers in the near future:

  • A smart arm band capable of learning and reacting to drivers’ gestures by sensing muscle movements sends commands to various components inside the truck cab. Such a device could cut down on driver distraction by allowing drivers to manipulate in-cab devices without taking their eyes off the road;
  • Virtual reality goggles allow drivers to see a list of past repairs or issues with certain components during pre- and post-trip inspections. Those same goggles could be used to display trailer schematics to optimize load placement. Or allow dispatchers to get inside the cab and see what drivers see through a 3-D rendering. Dispatchers could also tap into the trucks’ onboard video systems to see what the driver sees on the road or what’s around the truck;
  • Remote controls on semi-autonomous trucks could allow operators to take over remotely as they enter urban areas. Once back on the highways and open roads, the trucks’ artificial intelligence (AI) could take over, with remote operators checking in periodically.

Botticelli provided a live demo of a dispatcher using Microsoft HoloLens – to generate a three-dimensional elevation map (called HoloTerrain) and showing the locations of trucks on that map. Such technology could allow dispatchers to see much more clearly terrain conditions and the changes in elevation drivers encounter on their trips.

PeopleNet Integrates Compliance Application with E-Logs

At the conference, PeopleNet announced several fleet-focused technology developments involving electronic logging devices, data analysis, hardware and video intelligence. PeopleNet plans to integrate ISE Fleet Services’ eFleetSuite compliance applications into its existing automated HOS solution – eDriver Logs.

Predictive Maintenance Application Anticipates Breakdowns

Meanwhile, TMW Systems introduced a predictive maintenance application – TMT Predict.Fault Code. The application enables fleets to anticipate and address potential breakdowns and other unscheduled service needs before they occur. Using the PeopleNet Mobile Gateway, the application gathers 80 performance variables from the engine and aftertreatment system. Those variables are transmitted to the cloud, where they are analyzed for indicators of possible failures using eight models developed by Vusion, another sister Trimble company.

Trip Planning Tool Calculates More Accurate ETA

TMW also launched TruETA, a trip planning tool that automatically calculates a more accurate estimated time of arrival (ETA). TruETA accomplishes the greater accuracy by pulling together the vehicle’s position, the driver’s available hours of service and current and historical traffic patterns. The trip planning tool incorporates PC Miler routing capabilities from ALK Technologies, a sister company to TMW under Trimble. TruETA is available to users of the TMW.Suite, TruckMate and Innovative IES transportation management systems.

 Trimble, PeopleNet, TMW Announce New Divisions

Also, Trimble announced the creation of two new divisions as part of its Transportation Enterprise – Trimble Transportation Mobility and Trimble Transportation Enterprise. McLaughlin was appointed president of Trimble Transportation Mobility and Wangle was appointed president of Trimble Transportation Enterprise. Brian Coyne, previously vice president of national accounts, was also named the new general manager of PeopleNet’s truck unit in North America.