Omnitracs' Road Ahead blog

Enhanced connectivity will drive freight in 2020


From drivers to fleet managers, the rapidly approaching new decade is cause for both celebration and reflection. The industry has seen unprecedented levels of change and opportunity, including newfound flexibility powered by the open cloud, advanced data analytics giving greater insight to drivers, and strategically deployed artificial intelligence improving efficiency. But the whirlwind of change over the last few years isn’t going to slow down. In fact, according to Dr. Ashim Bose, Chief Data Scientist and Vice President of Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning (AI/ML) and Data at Omnitracs, the truth is quite the opposite.

As part of our 2020 predictions series, Dr. Bose shared a few key trends he anticipates will have the greatest impact on transportation and logistics in the first year of the new decade:

  • Data will fuel deeper insight and more effective action. While technology is reshaping the very foundation of the transportation industry, there’s never been a bigger need to be hyper-focused in how trucking companies approach next-gen solutions. Don’t chase buzz words, but rather focus on what the real, operational impact is. In 2020, Bose believes that this will most commonly take shape through how fleet managers turn insight into action through data. They’ll become increasingly adaptive at adjusting in near-real time to achieve goals like enhanced safety and improving driver retention by reducing fatigue. 
  • Say hello to 5G. Driverless/autonomous vehicles continue to be the big reach in transportation – remember when Back to the Future 2 told us we’d have flying cars by 2015? In our world, even the most optimistic of forecasts puts autonomous vehicles at minimum 10 years away. That said, 2020 will bring a critically important development in the path towards these connected cars — 5G networks. The next-generation system has the bandwidth that enables the advanced sensors on roadways and the traffic signals needed for these types of machines to work safely. 5G is primed to spur a new wave of innovation and change in the industry, so keep an eye out for even further deployment. 
  • The transportation industry welcomes new faces. One of the most game-changing trends impacting consumers and transportation is next-day delivery. Increasingly, retail giants such as Amazon are entering the last-mile fray in order to consistently please their customers and stay ahead of the competition. As this cements itself as a core consumer expectation, expect more non-traditional transportation companies exploring their own freight options, heavily influenced by data and analytics. The growth in competition will mean that every fleet will need to be continuously collecting, analyzing, and acting on data to inform shipping routes and delivery times for carriers in order to reduce driving times as much as possible.

Looking to catch up on our predictions 2020 blog series? Find out what will be trending in 2020 cybersecurity, as told by our own Chief Information Security Officer Sharon Reynolds.