Autonomous Vehicle

How are IoT Based Autonomous Vehicles Disrupting Supply Chains

Digitalization based on emerging technologies such as IoT (Internet of Things), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Blockchain, and Robotics Process Automation (RPA) has extensively transformed the logistics industry. From driver assistance to conditional automation and even full capacity self-driving, these technologies are being embedded in vehicles. Autonomous Vehicles capable of cruise control and driverless navigation are disrupting supply chain operations. Driven by progressive technologies, they are exceeding performance expectations through optimized logistics operations, timely delivery, and advanced analytics.

IoT based Autonomous Vehicles work through sensors, RFID tracking tools, and connected devices for precise on-time shipment delivery. These freight technology solutions facilitate end-to-end interaction across the supply chain. Carrier service providers and mobility companies are leveraging automatic identification and predictive analytics to optimize costs and enhance the customer service experience. IoT is assisting fleet owners beyond improved supply chain operations by offering them remote access to quality control features.

IoT Transforming the Supply Chain Industry

IoT is powering Autonomous vehicles with self-diagnostics, asset tracking, remote monitoring, theft prevention, efficient dynamic route planning, and automated cargo loading-unloading. The IoT led transformations of the supply chain industry include: 

1. Enhanced safety on the road with self-driven trucks and improved efficiency through the platooning of inter-connected autonomous vehicles.

2. Accurately tracking key expense parameters such as location, traffic projection, speed, and vehicle maintenance.

3. Better customer service with on-time delivery with real-time tracking and maintaining products in good condition.

4. Streamlining supply chain operations while monitoring assets, securing analytical data, and offering personalized customer experience.

Global freight companies are investing heavily in technology-driven logistics solutions. As per them, IoT-driven and GPS-enabled devices are competent in tracking and authenticating shipments preventing their loss and damage. According to a survey conducted by Statista in 2017, around 36% of respondents favored the use of predictive analytics. They consider it a significant innovation driver in the industry.

Building Resilient Supply Chains through IoT

IoT enabled Autonomous Vehicles are capable of optimizing carrier capacities, reducing wastage, and maintaining costs. It empowers transport and logistics companies to cater to the evolving customer needs driven by urgency and price-sensitivity. They help create a leaner supply chain by assisting in the following ways:

  • Convenient location tracking of goods at rest and in transit.
  • Identification of factors leading to delay in delivery and rectifying them.
  • Real-time shipment condition assessment in terms of pressure, temperature, and contamination to maintain quality and freshness.
  • Predictive analysis and planning of service demand for optimally scaling business operations.
  • Informed route planning and in-time re-routing to ensure timely delivery. Identifying reasons for the delay in consignment arrival such as poor weather, excessive traffic, unfriendly road conditions, and communicating route changes to the stakeholders.
  • Delivery and distribution of products to prescribed destinations.
  • Quicker border crossing with pre-approved documentation and remote operation of the vehicle. 
  • Effective management of business operations and boosting employee productivity.


The exponentially increasing adoption rates of semi and fully autonomous vehicles have successfully established the growing importance of IoT as a revolutionary technology in the logistics industry. In response to a survey by ABI Research, 40% of respondents identify Freight as a Service (FaaS) as a key transformational trend. They predict it will represent at least 30% of US total goods transportation revenues by 2030. Experts foresee the expansion of FaaS in the next phase of IoT innovations. Logistics companies are gearing up for a fully automated goods delivery system using autonomous vehicles and drones. Leveraging IoT benefits will help companies maximize profitability and ensure a larger number of secure on-time deliveries. Undoubtedly, disruptive technologies such as IoT-based autonomous vehicles will rattle the supply chains with the manifold benefits worth looking forward to.

Published in Telematics Wire

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