Too many transport operators still wary of Internet of Things


Over the past two decades, the world has witnessed a new stage of technological revolution. Globally, around 5,5 million new devices connect to the Internet every day, with more than 205 000 new gigabytes of data created every second. Termed the Internet of Things (IoT) – where any device with an on and off switch can connect to the Internet or to one another – this revolution has huge potential.

However, while some companies have already started to capitalize on the IoT, many are still fearful of the concept, says Professor Johan Joubert, researcher at the Center for Transport Development at the University of Pretoria.

“A lot of companies are already embracing the IoT. Unfortunately, most transport operators are still figuring out exactly what this concept entails. This manifests itself in the industry, especially when it comes to companies who generate vast amounts of data but don’t know quite what to do with it,” he says.

In the past, fleet owners made decisions on a prescriptive basis according to the limited knowledge that they possessed regarding, among other factors, roads and infrastructure. Thanks to the IoT, they have now moved to a reality-based and data driven environment. This provides ample opportunities to make meaning out of big data.

Says Cobus Grové, General Manager of Ctrack Global: “Because of the amount of IoT data now available – where the truck literally ‘talks’ to you – fleet owners need to be able to interpret and use this to prevent competitive disadvantage.

“At Ctrack, we are firmly future orientated. We regularly collaborate with some of the leading internationally renowned transport research institutions to work with big data and continuously raise the level of solutions for our customers,” he says.

According to Joubert, fleet owners will experience the real value with telematics if they start to anticipate disruptions and deviations from their original plan and, in the process, mitigate risk.

“Sadly, at this point it’s just a hoarding of data for many companies. They need to put it to good use in terms of running their business more efficiently and engaging with their customers on the various platforms available to them these days.”

Joubert is one of the speakers at this year’s TruckX Conference and Exhibition, hosted by Ctrack and Standard Bank. The convention takes place on 2 August at the Sandton Convention Centre.