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​Smart Logistics and Transport Management Edge Computing Lab Platform (EC-IoTTB2017-2006)

Lab Platform Name

Smart logistics and transport management edge computing lab platform

Initiating Institutes

iSoftStone Information Technology (Group) Co., Ltd.

Intel Corporation

Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd.

Overview and Objectives

According to the "2016 Statistical Communique of Transport and Logistic Development" publicized by the Ministry of Transport of the People's Republic of China, by the end of 2016, there were 13,517,700 trucks in China, among which 9,460,300 were common trucks and 475,600 were special-purpose vehicles. For many years, the number of highway freight vehicles has accounted for over 70% of the total number of freight vehicles in China. In addition, ministries have been releasing policies on the Internet of Vehicles (IoV) since 2010. The "Innovative Internet of Vehicles Development Action Plan (2015–2020)" is to be released soon, in which the government calls for the promotion of the IoV technology R&D, development of standards, trial implementation of IoV, showcases of 5G-based IoV, and the development of the industry. The Internet of freight vehicles, which involves technologies such as the new-generation mobile communication, Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, and cloud computing, is becoming a hot topic.

However, the logistics industry in China has encountered many challenges such as increasing competition and rising costs. Freight transport management is facing the following problems:

Few drivers use dedicated apps, making it difficult to manage and control subcontractors. Driver behavior cannot be quantitatively evaluated, and drivers must be experienced.

No data is collected for assessing the highway transportation punctuality. Abnormal en-route conditions are not recorded and cannot be checked. Fuel consumption statistics must be manually collected.

The cold-chain transportation is "opaque". Traditional multipoint communication is inefficient, temperatures during a transportation process cannot be viewed, and customer complaint data is not recorded and cannot be checked. As a result, acceptance result disputes often occur.

No effective tools are available for real-time monitoring of the driving behavior of drivers of dump trucks, tank trucks, and special-purpose vehicles for transporting hazardous chemicals. Additionally, no effective technology can be used for event tracing.

An increasing number of airports of different types and sizes are constructed, but no advanced technology or method is used for vehicle monitoring and management. Accidents such as ground vehicles colliding with planes or vehicles colliding with other vehicles still occur, and the number of runway intrusions continues to increase.

iSoftStone partners with Intel and Huawei to develop the smart logistics and transport management solution that uses edge computing. The solution leverages dedicated vehicle-mounted smart IoT terminals to comprehensively collect status parameters, service data, and video data of vehicles, engines, fuel tanks, cold-chain devices, and sensors. Video, temperature control, fuel control, and events are associated to provide the comprehensive running status of vehicles, building an efficient and low-consumption logistics and transport management service system.

Application Scenario

Smart vehicle-mounted IoT terminals use edge computing to provide rapid local computing and service responses. They have the following advantages:

Full-process vehicle status monitoring and real-time alarms

Dedicated smart vehicle-mounted IoT terminals collect status parameters and service data of vehicles, engines, and fuel tanks. Before being driven, a vehicle is thoroughly examined for security. When the vehicle is in motion, the status of the engine is monitored in real time, and fuel consumption data is collected and analyzed instantly. Once an exception occurs, the smart IoT terminal automatically generates an alarm and notifies the driver and the monitoring center. After a journey is completed, data stored on the vehicle-mounted smart IoT terminal can be used for analyzing fuel consumption and predictive maintenance. In this way, the vehicle management mode is transformed from extensive result management to fine-grained process management, helping improve management efficiency of logistics and transport.

Monitoring and fine-grained management of drivers' real-time driving behaviors

Smart vehicle-mounted IoT terminals that integrate precision gyroscopes and smart load sensors can detect real-time violations, including sudden accelerations or decelerations, abrupt turns, sudden braking, speeding, and overload, and then generate alarms and notify the monitoring center. In addition, smart vehicle-mounted IoT terminals also support positioning based on GPS or BeiDou (requiring a base station). A vehicle's real-time position and path can be obtained for comparison with preset driving routes and areas. If an unexpected deviation occurs, the smart vehicle-mounted IoT terminal immediately generates an alarm and notifies the monitoring center.

Monitoring and smart control of real-time temperature during cold-chain transportation

Freight such as food and pharmaceuticals have high requirements on temperature control. Smart vehicle-mounted IoT terminals have multi-protocol access capabilities and can collect data in real time from door magnets, compressors, and temperature and humidity sensors. Vehicle-mounted screens and the monitoring center can display the real-time temperatures of in-vehicle thermostatic areas, compressors, and areas outside vehicles. If a smart vehicle-mounted IoT terminal analyzes and determines that the temperature and humidity do not meet the freight storage requirements, it immediately generates an alarm and notifies the monitoring center. Additionally, smart vehicle-mounted IoT terminals also provide smart local control. According to the temperature and humidity, they can automatically enable a working mode such as refrigeration, thermostatic control, or dehumidification.

Video taking for security management

Based on user-defined settings, if an event occurs, such as sudden braking, speeding, sudden acceleration, abrupt turning, or door opening when the vehicle is in motion, a smart vehicle-mounted IoT terminal triggers a connected camera to take snapshots or videos and stores the data locally. When the network is accessible, the terminal uploads the data to the monitoring center. The terminal also uses the local snapshots of the driver and data about the driving time for driver fatigue analysis. The video taken one minute before and after an accident can be used for accident analysis or teaching, or as accident proof. Therefore, smart vehicle-mounted IoT terminals can help improve vehicle driving and operation security.

Special-purpose vehicle occupant identification for security monitoring and management

Identities of the driver and other occupants of a special-purpose vehicle such as airfield vehicle, cash-in-transit, or vehicle transporting hazardous chemicals must be authenticated. This can be implemented using a smart vehicle-mounted IoT terminal. After the vehicle authentication information is pre-bound with a client program on a smart vehicle-mounted IoT terminal, the smart terminal can authenticate identities of vehicle users through local fingerprint identification or facial recognition. When detecting an unauthorized occupant, the smart terminal immediately generates an alarm, notifies the monitoring center, and automatically starts a locking program. This enables security monitoring and management of special-purpose vehicles and ensures the safety of people and property.

Overall architecture




Expected Outcome

The edge computing capabilities of smart vehicle-mounted IoT terminals are expected to bring the following differentiated benefits to customers:

Full-process vehicle status is digitally monitored and displayed, and alarms are generated upon exceptions, improving vehicle management efficiency.

Driver behavior is digitally displayed in real time, and the data is used for assessing driver performance and managing driving behavior, helping reduce fuel consumption and other waste caused by misoperations, and reduce energy costs for enterprises.

The temperatures during food or pharmaceutical cold-chain transportation are detected within milliseconds and comprehensively displayed. User-friendly multi-level pre-alarms, analysis of temperature compliance in different scenarios, and smart fuzzy control ensure the high quality of food or pharmaceuticals.

User-defined images for triggering events, video snapshots or recording, and security management by local analysis and comparison help improve vehicle driving and operation security.

Local identification of drivers and other occupants of special-purpose vehicles such as airfield vehicles, cash-in-transit, and vehicles transporting hazardous chemicals, alarms on unauthorized occupants, and emergency handling ensure safety of people and property.

Smart vehicle-mounted IoT terminals are associated with sensors to monitor surroundings of moving vehicles in real time, allowing the drivers to foresee potential dangers.

Business Benefits

The lab platform market will be worth hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars in the next few years.

According to the Ministry of Transport of China, by the end of 2016, there were 13,517,700 trucks in China, among which 9,460,300 were common trucks (weighing 48,438,300 tons) and 475,600 were special-purpose vehicles (weighing 5,276,300 tons).

Qianzhan Industry Institute reports that the market scale of cold-chain transportation was CNY158.3 billion (US$24.4 billion) in 2015, and predicts that it will be increased to CNY347.9 billion (US$53.6 billion) in 2020 at a compound growth rate of 17.1%. In 2014, China had 76,000 refrigerator trucks in use, and Japan and the U.S. respectively had 150,000 and 250,000 refrigerator trucks. By the end of 2015, the number of refrigerator trucks in use in China had increased to 99,000, with a compound growth rate of 13.9% since 2011.

According to the Civil Aviation Administration of China, by the end of 2016, the number of certificated transport airports in China had reached 218, eight more than that at the end of 2015. Each transport airport is equipped with more than 10 types of special-purpose vehicles, including motor tractors, aircraft de-icing vehicles, snowplows, luggage carts, power supply vehicles, air supply vehicles, air conditioning vehicles, and garbage trucks.

Social Benefits

Based on technologies such as the new-generation mobile communication, IoT, Big Data, and smart sensing, the Internet of freight vehicles connects drivers, fleet managers, cargo owners, cargo, and ground infrastructure. This helps improve the efficiency of transportation management and traffic operating, manage driving behavior, ensure the product quality and vehicle operation security, and reduce pollutant emissions.

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