Omnitracs & Peloton Technology join forces
Omnitracs, a global pioneer of fleet management solutions to transportation and logistics companies, today announced that it has partnered with Peloton Technology, a developer of connected and automated vehicle systems for U.S. and global freight carriers. Omnitracs and Peloton will collaborate to bring Peloton’s industry-leading truck platooning technology to Omnitracs customers. The partners will also develop joint solutions that combine each company’s safety, efficiency and fleet management capabilities.
Peloton will begin filling pre-orders of its flagship platooning product for Class 8 trucks in 2017. The technology synchronizes braking and acceleration between pairs of trucks through the integration of vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications with state-of-the-art, radar-based collision avoidance systems, enabling the trucks to travel safely at aerodynamic following distances. The Peloton system generates 4.5 percent fuel savings for the lead truck and 10 percent for the follow truck in a two-truck platoon, according to independent testing by the North American Council for Freight Efficiency.
For the driver of the follow truck, the Peloton system works similarly to adaptive cruise control with the added safety feature of V2V communications to enable automated braking within 0.1 second of braking by the lead truck. The driver of each truck controls steering while the platooning system coordinates speed and distance between the trucks-- meeting the definition of SAE Level 1 automated driving.
Platoons are managed continuously by a cloud-based Network Operations Center that connects to trucks through cellular and Wi-Fi communications. Cloud-based supervision limits operation of platoons to specified roads in safe driving conditions.
“Peloton has developed technology that is on the cutting edge of advanced driver assistance systems and the automated vehicle movement,” said John Graham, CEO of Omnitracs. “Its emphasis on spatial awareness is a crucial and foundational component of improving truck safety and fuel efficiency.”
For Omnitracs, the partnership with Peloton is in keeping with the company’s history of innovation and leadership within the transportation industry. Omnitracs offers fleet customers the most comprehensive suite of end-to-end transportation technology solutions available for improving fleet-wide fuel economy, safety and compliance.
Peloton will help to roll out practical, cost-saving automated vehicle technology featuring leading-edge cybersecurity to Omnitracs customers, beginning with two-truck platooning. Omnitracs has a large customer base in the long-haul trucking segment which stands to benefit significantly from platooning.
“We are excited to be part of the first partnership of a commercial platooning system supplier with a leading fleet management provider,” said Joshua Switkes, founder and CEO of Peloton Technology. “We will offer expanded opportunities for platooning across the broad customer base that Omnitracs has attracted by focusing on cost advantages for fleets.”
A key operational benefit of the partnership for fleet customers will be optimized matching opportunities for inter-fleet platooning, leveraging Omnitracs’ routing and dynamic dispatch applications to provide navigation assistance and clear savings calculations for scheduled and ad-hoc platoons of trucks from different fleets.
“This partnership will offer benefits to fleets of all sizes,” said Butch Winters, Peloton’s VP of products, sales and business development. “In addition to helping fleets find more opportunities for platooning, we’re working with Omnitracs on new product features to enhance safety and efficiency for fleets and drivers.”
Co-developed solutions from the partnership may include integrated cloud-based fleet management services and hardware.
DHL Claim Multi-Sector Collaboration Key to Fighting COVID
Since January, global logistics leader DHL has distributed more than 200 million doses of the COVID vaccine to 120+ countries around the globe. While the US and UK recently rolled out immunisation plans to most citizens, countries with less developed infrastructure still desperately need more doses. In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which currently has one of the highest per-capita immunisation rates, the government set up storage facilities to cover domestic and international demand. But storage, as we’ve learned, is little help if you can’t transport the goods.
This is where logistics leaders such as DHL make their impact. The company built over 50 new partnerships, bilateral and multilateral, to collaborate with pharmaceutical and private sector firms. With more than 350 DHL centres pressed into service, the group operated 9,000+ flights to ship the vaccine where it needed to go.
With new pandemic knowledge, DHL just released its “Revisiting Pandemic Resilience” white paper, which examined the role of logistics and supply chain companies in handling COVID-19. As Thomas Ellman, Head of Clinical Trials Logistics at DHL, said: “The past one year has highlighted the importance of logistics and supply chain management to manage the pandemic, ensure business continuity and protect public health. It has also shown us that together we are stronger”.
Multisector partnerships, DHL said, enabled rapid, effective vaccine distribution. While international scientists developed a vaccine in record time—five times faster than any other vaccine in history—manufacturers ramped up production and logistics teams rolled out distribution three times faster than expected. When commercial routes faced backups, logistics operators worked with military officers to transport vaccines via helicopters and boats.
In the UAE, the public-private HOPE Consortium distributed billions of COVID-19 doses to its civilians as well as other countries in need by partnering with commercial organisations such as DHL. For the first time, apropo for an unprecedented pandemic, logistics companies made strong connections with public health and government.
“While the race against the virus continues, leveraging the power of such collaborations and data analytics will be key”, said Katja Busch, Chief Commercial Officer DHL and Head of DHL Customer Solutions & Innovation. “We need to remain prepared for high patient and vaccine volumes, maintain logistics infrastructure and capacity, while planning for seasonal fluctuations by providing a stable and well-equipped platform for the years to come”.
How Do We Sustain Immunisation?
By the end of 2021, experts estimate that we need approximately 10 billion doses of vaccines—many of which will be shipped to areas of the world, such as India, South Africa, and Brazil, that lack significant infrastructure. This is perhaps the greatest divide between countries that have rolled out successful immunisation programmes and those that have not. As Busch noted, “the UAE’s significant investments in creating robust air, sea, and land infrastructure facilitated logistics and vaccine distribution, helping us keep supply chains resilient”.
Neither is the novel coronavirus a one-time affair. If predictions hold, COVID will be similar to seasonal colds or the flu: here to stay. When fall comes around each year, governments will need to vaccinate the world as quickly as possible to ensure long-term immunisation against the virus. This time, logistics companies must be better prepared.
Yet global immunisation, year after year, is no small order. To keep reinfection rates low and slow the spread of COVID, governments will likely need 7-9 billion annual doses of the vaccine to meet that mark. And if DHL’s white paper is any judge of success, multi-sector supply chain partnerships will set the gold standard.