The transport industry is the clockwork that keeps the whole of New Zealand ticking. People tend to take it for granted when everything runs smoothly. It’s only when there’s a snag in the supply chain that they start to appreciate the complexity of this industry that employs 4% of the total Kiwi workforce and contributes 5% of our national GDP.
Transport is a huge industry because it has to deliver – in every way. Consumers and regulators want it all: faster delivery, reliable services, lower emissions and safer systems. Working to meet these demands means investing significant amounts of time and money. But emerging technology means this investment could pay off handsomely, sustainably saving time, money and lives.
Read more about the national GDP contribution
Connected vehicles will find you an empty parking spot – and so much more
For drivers, connected vehicles will help us improve our day-to-day lives and help the environment. Better journey planning leads to less time stuck in traffic, lower congestion and reduced emissions.
With advanced driver-assist systems, connected cars should be better able to prevent accidents and cut down our road toll. Paying tolls will be seamless, and our cars could soon direct us to the nearest available parking space.
The data produced by millions of connected cars will also be invaluable to planners and city councils. By understanding how people drive and the way traffic flows, planners should be able to make better-informed decisions about the future of roads and public transport.
You can see the first steps toward this at Auckland’s Wynyard Quarter Innovation Precinct, where Smart Parking is helping Auckland Transport to improve their parking services.
Read about Auckland’s Wynyard Quarter Innovation Precinct
Find out more about Smart Parking
For businesses with fleets, vehicle tracking allows operations teams to quickly identify the closest car to a job and despatch it immediately, while connected trucks can be monitored for driver safety and mileage.
This technology is already in action in Kiwi businesses, helping them deliver a faster service at a lower price.
Read Whaiora Whanui Trusts' IoT story
Greater connectivity is improving New Zealand’s Emergency services: St John uses the mobile network to ensure every vehicle remains trackable and contactable. By automatically choosing the best choice of connectivity medium – cellular, satellite, radio or Wi-Fi – emergency responders can rely on outstanding communication even in the most remote parts of the country.
Smart freight can be faster, safer and cheaper
Real-time tracking and feedback can allow goods to be freighted not only faster but with less spoilage or damage to the items. The technology now exists to monitor and adjust the temperature at which packages are stored; to detect unauthorised opening of containers; and to track shipments right down to the individual widget.
In the shipping industry, ports can also harness the Internet of Things to better manage vessels and goods, massively increasing the turnover of containers. This plays a fundamental role in speeding up delivery for both importers and exporters – the past year has been a masterclass in how problematic port delays can be. The good news is that New Zealand’s major ports are already adding automated straddle carriers to load and unload trucks, which will make the ports both more efficient and safer for workers.
For air, sea and rail logistics, individualised maintenance can extend the lifespan of aircraft, vessels and trains. That extends to a wide range of plant and heavy machinery. For example, several local businesses are using devices to track and monitor their warehouse forklifts, creating considerable time savings for their maintenance teams.
Data drives improvements
Once a transport business has connected its goods, its machines or its systems, it will be generating huge quantities of digital information. Analysing that data will give business leaders unparalleled insights into their operations – allowing them to identify and address pain points, safety issues and customer problems. Operations could become smoother, safer and faster while also providing a superior customer experience. As we become more connected, tweaks and improvements can also happen remotely – to goods in transit, for instance, while they’re on a ship in the middle of the Pacific.
Ultimately, the New Zealand transport industry will become more productive and more efficient, allowing us to punch above our weight on the global stage.
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