It may come as a surprise to a lot of us that transportation accounts for 40 percent of the logistics cost. Also, the cost of logistics in India is significantly higher than that in developed countries. While logistics cost is 13-14 percent of the GDP in India, it is only 4-5 percent of the GDP for developed countries. These statements make it evident that the transportation sector has not been able to evolve as rapidly as the world around us has. While there have been some very obvious improvements such as better infrastructure and efficient vehicles leading to shorter turnaround times, the sector has not seen the revolution that we would like.
Does it ever cross your mind why is it so? Is it because of the fragmentation in the industry or is it because of the lack of adoption of technology. The reasons may be many, the reasons may be varied, but we strongly feel that the biggest bottleneck is this “for road transportation to change, drivers and their attitude will have to change”. It is extremely important for us to understand that nothing would improve till the time the drivers are addressed directly. Since no such attempts have been made, we are where we are.
So now that we understand the problem and the genesis of the problem, let us address the elephant in the room. We know what exactly is going through your mind. It is very easy to analyze a situation and understand the problem, the problem starts when you have to solve it. Well, we do agree with this statement completely, but there is a slight catch here. We also have a solution to this problem.
Just for a moment leave whatever you are doing and come along where we want to take you. It is a world where all the trucks are tracked in real time, drivers are on a cloud and driving behavior is monitored in real time. First, let us understand with the current advent of technology, this world will soon become a reality. Once all of this is possible, we combine all of this with a simple technique known as gamification to change the face of the industry.
Gamification is nothing but the use of game elements and techniques to make anything and everything more interesting. It will have a very basic and simple application in this specific case. Based on the plethora of data that is accessible through the cloud, we use the different metrics such as over speeding, harsh acceleration, speeding etc to come up with a driver score. This driver score is indicative of the efficiency as well as the safety of the driver. While this may just look like another thing, its implications can be multifold.
- There can be a system of points/badges/leaderboards based on the scores.
- Drivers with low scores can be counseled.
- Drivers with low scores would be intrinsically motivated to do better.
- Drivers with high scores can be given tangible/intangible benefits.
The list does not end here and in the current scenario, it may not even be possible to estimate the kind of impact this simple application can have.
We at IoT Research Labs are doing our bit to bring this dream closer to the reality with our driver behavior functionality. We hope to make a big impact on our small initiative.