With so much talk about the impact that Internet of Things (IoT) technology will have on the way we live, Linfox’s chief information officer Conrad Harvey asks what it means for community safety and the supply chain.

At Linfox, we are always looking at how advances in technology can help us operate more safely and efficiently. In the last year, heavy vehicle safety has been a key issue within our industry and community, with increases in road incidents across Australia bringing attention to the importance of smart technology to improve safety for drivers and the public.

Some of the most exciting innovations are happening in sensor technologies and data analytics. We’ve just announced our partnership with Telstra and MTData to deliver advanced transport and logistics data and quality benchmarking information to our entire truck fleet to enhance public and driver safety on Australian roads.

Enabling IoT to our trucks

With more and better quality location and routing data, we can improve communication with our drivers and the visibility of truck movements.

Working with Telstra and MTData, we are able to draw on years of in-cab technology innovation to upgrade our current FoxTrax fleet monitoring system.

The system’s built-in sensors will collect a range of information including vehicle tracking, product temperatures, optimal routing, harsh braking and acceleration, vehicle condition and driver fatigue data.

Managers will be able to monitor driver fatigue from a central control room and warn of impending safety issues. To minimise distractions, drivers can be notified of safety issues and route changes using text-to-speech technology.

They will also be able to streamline the maintenance of digital driver worksheets and improve accuracy.

Telstra’s IoT solution will include Samsung tablets mounted into all Linfox trucks across our Australian fleet, so drivers can access logbooks and complete safety checklists, and have the capability in some vehicles for in-cabin recording of road safety incidents.

We have long used in-cab cameras to improve our safety performance. Through Telstra’s IoT technology, our connected fleet will make it possible to use smart cameras and IoT sensors to communicate with other vehicles and infrastructures.

We’re excited about the potential of IoT technology and how it can have such positive impacts within the fleet industry. Looking forward, we will also work with the broader industry to establish the necessary standards to help make our roads safer.

There has never been a more important time to be involved in supply chain technology. We will continue to invest and work with our partners, Telstra and MTData to implement technology that will enable us to coordinate our vehicles efficiently, reduce congestion on the roads and above all, ensure a higher level of safety for the community.