Asvin Goel: Fleet telematics: real-time management and planning of commercial vehicle operations
Due to globalisation and liberalisation of markets more goods are transported world wide than ever before. Inland transportation within the European Union has almost doubled between 1970 and 2000 and is expected to further increase by about 25% until 2010 and by almost 90% until 2030. It appears that this considerable growth is almost entirely realised by road transport. As a result, road pricing systems are increasingly deployed to reduce congestion of the road network and to finance infrastructural development. The deregulation in the European road transport market, in particular, the allowance of cabotage operations, increases competition and motor carriers from emerging countries more and more challenge motor carriers from developed countries by comparably lower wages. Global competition forces manufacturing companies to improve the quality of their products and to reduce their manufacturing costs. As a result, manufacturing companies increasingly apply just-in-time practices in order to cut down inventory costs. Obviously, just-in-time practices necessitate punctual, reliable, and flexible transportation, as with reduced inventory buffers any mismatch between supply and demand can result into significant disturbances of manufacturing processes. To face these challenges motor carriers have to increase the quality of service and reduce costs. Fleet Telematics - Real-Time Management and Planning of Commercial Vehicle Operations shows how motor carriers can increase punctuality, reliability, flexibility, and transparency of transportation services, and, at the same time, reduce empty mileage and low vehicle utilisation. The book presents a telematics-enabled information system alleviating a major obstacle for computer-based real-time decision support: the lack of timely and reliable information. A real-time decision support system is presented which achieves its strength from several specialised actors who collaboratively and concurrently modify problem data and solution, using different problem knowledge and solution techniques: dispatchers, a Messaging & Fleet Monitoring System, and a Dynamic Planning System. Several heuristic planning methods are presented which can be used to dynamically solve transportation problems incorporating a variety of real-life constraints that are not considered by the classical models found in the literature. Among those are the new regulations for drivers’ working hours in the European Union which entered into force in April 2007. With the improved availability of timely and reliable information provided by the Messaging & Fleet Monitoring System, and the real-time decision support provided by the Dynamic Planning System, this book gives an important contribution to increasing the efficiency of commercial vehicle operations.