25 October 2019 ·

The future of the truck industry - How AI is changing the game

Hino Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is changing every aspect of how we operate in today’s society. AI has started to be adopted in a number of industries including manufacturing, healthcare, finance, education and of course our transport industry. Today’s businesses are facing a choice: to evolve, or be left behind. Every day, we’re redefining what we even thought was possible and constantly innovating to stay ahead of the game. 

By using cutting-edge technologies, we continue to expand the possibilities of what our minds think is actually possible. At Hino, we have and will continue to integrate AI in our trucks to implement fuel saving technologies and safer driving, with the aim to continue to be innovative and grow in today’s technological advanced society. This AI can be best seen in our latest product introduction, the Hino 500 Series Standard Cab, offering advanced driver assistance systems to enhance operational efficiency and allow for a safer and more comfortable drive. But how is AI impacting the overall transport industry? Is it an advantage or disadvantage to the industry?  

Firstly what is AI? 

‘Artificial intelligence (AI), the ability of a digital computer or computer-controlled robot to perform tasks commonly associated with intelligent beings.’ Encyclopedia Britannica.

Intelligence is only analysed in humans and can be seen through the undertaking of problem solving, learning, language, reasoning and perception. So computers are taking on the tasks we as humans undertake, but at a much faster rate and with much more intelligence.

So how is AI being used in the transport industry? 

Data and analytics: The ability to track and analyse data continues to evolve - and the potential is incredible. AI can pull in multiple data streams from different sources and deliver real-time insights for the driver and the team behind the driver. This is creating huge potential to deliver automated decision making on everything, from choosing the optimal fuel stop for drivers with potential future government fuel regulation looming, to improving truck servicing and lifespan through live chatbots. 

Data analysis can be hugely profitable in the supply chain and operational area. AI allows greater contextual intelligence, which can be used to improve operation efficiency and enhance customer experience. It can aid in forecasting by reviewing algorithms and improve production planning and factory scheduling. 

The opportunities are endless to ensure that the whole supply chain is undertaken efficiently and cost effectively, ultimately improving the delivery of products and services to the end consumer. 

Pinpoint accuracy: The ability of AI through smarter traffic light algorithms and real time tracking can aid in predicting more economical routes, helping drivers avoid delays such as roadworks by quickly rerouting the journey. This results in less wasted time at the wheel and more efficient journey times for drivers. 

Filing and paperwork: If time-consuming paperwork isn’t quite a thing of the past then hopefully it soon will be. More efficient online filing systems are using predictive information to streamline the process. Through cloud software and analytics, AI is already stripping back the time spent filling in mundane forms for everyone involved. 

Driver Safety: Autonomous driving has been talked about in the industry for a long time and over the year’s we have seen these technologies being trailed globally. From autonomous taxis in Tokyo to the world’s first autonomous truck delivery in San Francisco, carrying around 50,000 cans of Budweiser beer over a distance of 120 miles.  

In 2017, Hino Motors was trialling ‘Truck Platooning’ technology whereby three or five vehicles travel autonomously in a string formation, potentially reducing costs and saving 20% in fuel.

It is predicted that over the next 5 years we will see some of the most advanced self-driving technologies already in production. 
AI is helping our Hino drivers in an increasing number of ways - by doing some of the driving for them!

Advances in sensory technology have enabled AI powered advanced driver assistance systems like lane departure warning to help drivers stay on the right track and maintain driver safety. Braking assist technologies such as Pre-Collision System (PCS) with Pedestrian Detection, Safety Eye and Autonomous Emergency Braking are speeding up reaction times and protecting both pedestrians and other road users. 

Adaptive cruise control makes long distance drives much easier, while automatic blind spot detection through reverse camera helps identify blind spots and improves driver visibility. 

As these technologies continue to develop, AI will help improve both driver and road user safety. 

Predictive maintenance: Breakdowns cost time and effort, but AI has made huge strides in helping to avoid these situations. Increasingly, AI is helping to predict maintenance of parts, whether it’s by tracking the number or miles since the last check, ensuring fuel is used efficiently or detecting when something might go wrong and flagging the early warning signals. 

AI is present in every touch point of our lives, whether you’re using you smart phone to browse the web or engage in your social media channels, stream music or play video games, through smart home devices and through banking services. AI will continue to navigate in areas which we never thought possible i.e. tracking crime data in real time to allow police to increase efficiencies by patrolling in areas which are identified and keep citizens safe. 

In the transport industry, AI comes with huge advantages but we can’t forget a key disadvantage, which is the number of blue-collar jobs available. With this said, the adoption of AI in the transportation landscape still has a major cost barrier and will not be applied overnight.

How could AI improve your time at the wheel?