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07/03/2017
PROACTIVE SOLUTIONS: GOODYEAR BRINGS THE TRUCK IN THE DIGITAL ERA

 

Trucking Solutions 

 

A collection of high-tech services dedicated to transport fleets and aimed at minimizing breakdowns, maintenance costs and fuel consumption. Combining digital innovations, service networks and experience in the tire industry, Goodyear's new product marks logistics next step

Guido Gambassi

Launched in late 2016,"Proactive Solutions", a system of connected services for transport fleet management, represents an important step in streamlining operating costs, starting of course with tires. The “solution” isn’t exactly a novelty, but is a result of two years of development and field-testing throughout Europe. Following these field-tests, performed side by side with drivers who have already made good use of the service for some time now, Goodyear thought the time was ripe to launch the service on the market with its own brand. The hi-tech innovation of Proactive Solutions, compared to similar systems that other manufacturers have, in recent years, introduced in the market, is based on an exclusive predictive algorithm: a proprietary technology that, along with its advanced data communication system can, according to the producer, reduce downtime due to tire damage, by a staggering 75%. Not to mention the wide range of services and solutions designed to help transport fleets streamline operating costs as much as possible and maximize efficiency, working on tire management and more.

"We are all experiencing a deep transformation that is reshaping the trucking business. In a digital economy, end users and companies expect faster deliveries with lower costs and more flexibility. To meet these needs, the industry is becoming more connected and automated. Goodyear’s “Proactive Solutions” offers fleet managers an easy-to-use solution to help them reduce their total operating costs and improve delivery times, efficiency and sustainability," said Michel Rzonzef, Goodyear EMEA Vice President of Commercial Business.

In what exactly, then, does this Proactive Solutions consist? We are looking at two “families” of services: Proactive Tire, which focuses on managing data coming directly from the tire, and Proactive Fleet, which processes information relating to the performance of the driver and the vehicle’s location. In turn, these two families of services are made up of two specific parts: the first features a Tire Pressure Monitoring System service, which includes an RFID (Radio Frequency IDentity) sensor fitted on each wheel, which detects the pressure and temperature of each tire. Data are then collected by a router, which in turn passes the information to Goodyear to be analyzed. Poorly inflated and/or overheated tires are promptly reported in order to immediately carry out the necessary preventive action. At this stage, another feature comes into play further improving the overall efficiency of the system: Goodyear’s European service network, which, according to Rzonzef, "is second to none: allowing us to intervene anywhere within 120 minutes from any damage report". The benefits are the same as those linked with every Tire Pressure Monitoring System: reduced fuel consumption due to under-inflation, reduced vehicle downtime due to tire damage and consequent longer life span. Still according to Goodyear, such preventive maintenance has enabled customers’ fleet to reduce by 75% the number of breakdowns and accidents linked to tires. The other feature included in the Proactive Tire service is called Drive-over-Reader, and provides for a scanner positioned on the ground inside the vehicle’s depot, which automatically detects the depth of the tread and the pressure of each tire every time the vehicle enters or exits the depot. This information is then sent to Goodyear’s servers where the algorithm produces a comprehensive report that highlights problems such as insufficient tread or low pressure. The algorithm also calculates the remaining mileage thus maximizing the use of the tires, including re-grooving, retreading and replacing.

The Proactive Fleet package, instead, includes Driver Behavior, which works on data related to driver performance aimed at improving driving style and consequently optimizing fuel consumption and increasing the tire’s life span. The system detects, on an on-going basis,  data on 12 driving parameters and produces customized reports for each driver, so as to  develop tailor-made training programs for each driver to improve performance and enhance safety. Besides the aforementioned increase in life span, Goodyear guarantees a 10% saving in fuel consumption for a vehicle travelling, on average, 10,000 km per month.

Finally, Track and Trace is the service that uses GPS tracking devices to provide real time position and vehicle movement in order to improve the level of customer service efficiency, informing, in real time, fleet managers on routes and delivery times. The system also allows to organize maintenance activities by remote, identifying technical centers in the vicinity of the vehicle or to trace and recover stolen vehicles. The simultaneous use of different services, in some cases resulted in a maintenance cost reduction of up to 70%. But what makes Proactive Solutions competitive against management tools offered by other companies? In this regard, Rzonzef has no doubts: "first of all, the solutions we have developed for the specific needs of our clients were created by working closely with them, and are exactly what they need. In addition, our predictive algorithm, our intellectual property, along with our network of services and the quality of our tires guarantee maximum efficiency". To make the system even more effective, all operations are digital: in case of maintenance interventions no phone calls or cards are needed, all requests are processed through the cloud. Goodyear Proactive Solutions can be used on all types of trucks and with all types of tire, and is already available in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, United Kingdom, Spain and Switzerland; further news will be introduced and included in the portfolio of applications that are still under development in 2017.

 

 

The digital revolution hits the trucking sector

According to a research by Frost & Sullivan, presented during the launch of Proactive Solutions, the coming years will be very crucial for the development of road transport, in view of the advent and spread of many hi-tech innovations. 5G technology and satellite data will make trucks both intelligent and predictive, while partially autonomous vehicles will give way to totally autonomous trucks and artificial intelligence will find additional space in more on-board applications. Vehicle maintenance and service will also experience major changes: the proliferation of Over-the-air systems, which automatically update the software, will reduce service times by 22% and diagnosis by 70%. Behind all these operations, which will promote significant management cost reductions, looms the Big Data industry: revenues stemming from the transport industry data analysis were 93.9 million in 2014 and will reach 1.6 billion by 2022. The road transport industry will be profoundly different in a few years: urban areas will witness an increase in inter-modality and micro-distribution, with strong developments in last-mile deliveries; logistic services will be increasingly outsourced while speed, flexibility, integrated solutions and "all in one" services will be in great demand. The digital revolution stands on five pillars: a connected supply chain, Industry 4.0, connected vehicles, online sales and vehicle-fleet connections and a re-definition of the truck’s role itself.

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