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This truck has more connections than Kevin Bacon

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May 4, 2016

by

Theresa Bui

Remember that semi-truck that you passed on your way to work today? You don’t? That’s OK. But next time you see one, remember that every item on every store shelf, in every office or in every home has, at one point in its production or distribution life, been on a truck. (International Road Transport Union)

If that truck were a person, not only would he be one of the the hardest working people you know, but if he were in your LinkedIn network, he would be one of your most connected connections.

That’s because today’s trucks can literally be connected in hundreds of ways. Connected trucks and fleets have moved far beyond simple GPS-tracking to include gathering and analyzing data from an incredibly wide range of vehicle systems and sensors, from engines to cargo to driver to on-board safety systems.

With the Internet of Things, tracking and monitoring goods is faster, more accurate, predictive and secure. And analytics from a connected fleet can predict asset failure and schedule maintenance checks automatically. Connecting drivers and delivery personnel with surrounding vehicles and people can help monetize and reduce the number of deadheads (empty trailers).

At Cisco Jasper, our Control Center IoT service platform manages connected devices for more than 3,700 companies around the world. Devices on trucks, fleet management and related solutions make up more than a third of all the device types we manage. That’s a lot of sensors.

We tried mapping some of these devices onto a truck and frankly, ran out of room. But this picture should give you a sense of just how well connected today’s trucks really are – with the most “connected” trucks having well over a hundred sensors supporting them on the road:

One of our customers, a global telematics provider, has deployed more than four million connected devices around the world. Their solutions help transportation and logistics customers optimize their operations by collecting, monitoring and efficiently reporting business-critical data and intelligence from all of these connected devices.

And boy, do they pull every modicum of value from the data those sensors provide. For example, this customer sends almost 10 thouand queries per day across all of their devices managed on Control Center. Of course, they’re doing this automatically, via set-and-forget automation rules. After all, they are using Control Center.

So, next time you see that semi-truck on the road, give a big wave to the poster child of the Internet of Things as it accelerates down the road. Click here to check out how transportation and logistics companies are using IoT to make their businesses more profitable right now.

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