Key facts about implementing IoT in the Transportation industry

Internet of Things technology has advanced far in its development and is successfully implemented by many industries. According to Statista, in 2020 the global spending on IoT reached $749 bn and by 2023 is predicted to grow up to $1.1tln. Given this, the scope of the industries that use IoT accounts for dozens from healthcare to power engineering, and the transportation sphere isn’t an exception here.

In this article, we’ll have a look at the role of IoT in transportation and how it’s effectively utilized by various companies for addressing their transportation needs and improving their fleet, supply chain management, and others.

Role of IoT in transportation

It’s hard to contemplate how many industries from retail to traveling to manufacturing and others would operate without transportation. It connects businesses to consumers and businesses to businesses, ensuring products and materials availability, passenger movement, transport accessibility, and routing. 

The number of products and services has been steadily growing around the world as well as the need for well-organized transportation. Today, traditional traffic control systems often can’t effectively cover all the transportation needs. An increasing number of traffic jams in urban areas, disruption in supply chains happened due to Covid, and more encourage the industry workers to seek more effective and intelligent solutions such as the Internet of Things.

IoT (Internet of Things) is the latest digital technology that helps transport professionals to arrange traffic flows, and enhance safety and comfort inside vehicles and on the streets for all road users. Therefore, many transport infrastructure developers, road engineers, construction managers, and others see IoT as the future of effective urban planning as well as transportation planning and traffic management. According to Allied Market Research, the global IoT in transportation market size gained $83.25 bn in 2020 and is expected to increase to $495.57 bn by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 19.9% between 2021 and 2030.

How IoT is Improving the Transportation Industry

Internet of Things is a mature technology used as the backbone of intelligent digital solutions in many industries, including transportation. For example, FedEx and UPS companies use GPS-enabled IoT apps for delivery tracking and fleet management; Tesla, BMW, Audi, and many others manufacture IoT-enabled connected cars; Amazon, Maersk Line, DART, and others transform their supply chains using the Internet of Things. 

There are many more large and small businesses that implement IoT for their transportation needs. Let’s have a look at some key examples of how IoT is improving the transportation industry.

IoT-enhanced Railways

Railways have long been used for cargo transportation as a cheaper option than road transport due to their ability to transport larger and heavier loads over greater distances. However, railway systems have been long using older technologies in transportation management which made many processes slower.

Internet of Things systems can significantly improve railway performance, monitoring, and control. That’s why the UK company NetworkRail has launched an Intelligent Infrastructure (II) program aimed at improving services for passengers and freight customers with the use of IoT technology. Another example is the Dutch railway company, NS which uses IoT for data analytics to improve work between departments, resulting in 92.6% of Dutch trains arriving on time. 

Transport Monitoring and Management System

A wide range of businesses heavily relies on their supply chains. This means that for effective goods and materials delivery they have to manage and maintain a complex system of manufacturing, packing, storing, delivery, and more. All these activities can be considerably enhanced with IoT. 

With the help of IoT, companies can gather, process, and analyze supply chain data from storage availability in warehouses and inventory management using RFID tags, to fleet management with GPS and onboard diagnostics (OBD), to trip planning when IoT technology is combined with an Artificial Intelligence solution and more.  

Connected Cars

Empowered with IoT technology, vehicles can establish an internet connection with each other and road infrastructure. This improved monitoring helps to better arrange passenger and freight transportation on the roads, making it much safer and faster. The primary ways of using IoT monitoring systems in connected cars include:

  • driver behavior monitoring and adjustment of driving style to less risky;
  • alerting of overspeeding, braking, etc;
  • traffic jam monitoring and route planning through less busy roads;
  • road infrastructure adjustment to the traffic, e.g. adjustment of traffic lights, parking times, etc.;
  • smart emergency assistance for an uninterrupted movement of ambulances, police cars, fire engines, etc.;
  • toll and ticketing when drivers can automatically pay for parking or road traveling without the necessity to queue at toll booths on highways.

Commercial Transportation

Public transport empowered with the Internet of Things can gather much data about how to improve passenger satisfaction as well as provide automated services. For example, passengers can buy travel tickets using integrated ticketing systems, obtain passenger information through information display systems, and more. Apart from offering in-transport data and services, public transport providers can use IoT for delivering to passengers the latest data on transport scheduling and arrival via mobile applications or bus stop and station displays. 

Some of the examples of how IoT is used in public transport today include:

  • Movia, the public transport authority in East Denmark used IoT sensors to improve passenger travel during the Covid-19 pandemics. The sensors counted the number of smartphone devices connected to the Internet and based on this data determined if the transport was packed or not.
  • MITT & Trentino Trasporti in Italy implemented IoT devices for real-time monitoring of public transport arrival and management.
  • A London safety project and Abellio equipped cab drivers with fit drives to monitor the level of fatigue in drivers and changes in driving behavior to reduce the risk of accidents.

IoT in Smart Traffic Management System: How Does It Work?

Intelligent traffic management systems are the systems equipped with the latest innovations in the Internet of Things technology for improved traffic management. They allow solving many traffic issues and represent the first step for the development and expansion of Smart City infrastructure.

With Smart traffic management systems, transport professionals can :

  • detect and manage traffic jams – IoT sensors and cameras installed at intersections and along the roads can monitor the city streets 24/7 and collect all the data in one city traffic controller hub;
  • road adjustment to the current traffic situation – when an IoT system detects any congestion, the controlling road system can perform some traffic lights and bus lanes adjustments, or even temporary close come roads to alleviate the traffic;
  • connected cars interaction – IoT-empowered road infrastructure can send street state notifications to the drivers to restore the traffic; moreover, smart vehicles can directly connect to intersections and change/suggest vehicle speed on the roads;
  • emergency routing – IoT systems can notify connected vehicles and clear up the roads for police, ambulance, and fire services, giving them priority on the roads;
  • Smart parking – equipped with IoT sensors, parking lots can notify cars of available places so that drivers don’t have to spend time going around a car park searching for a free parking lot.

Bottom Line

Effective traffic management and improvement of transportation infrastructure are vital for metropolitan cities as well as business development. One of the effective ways to make a change for the better is to implement IoT technology on the roads.

There are many ways how IoT can be used in transportation from traffic monitoring to route planning, to supply-chain management. A wide range of companies has already adapted the IoT technology for their transportation needs. As a result, they’ve managed to significantly improve their business efficiency and performance. 

If you’re also considering integrating Internet of Things technologies into your transport management systems then you need a team of experts who know how to handle complex IoT technology effectively. Scand offers highly-qualified teams of professional IoT developers. We have more than 20 years of experience in the international software development market and are ready to help you with the custom development of IoT transportation projects.