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DoCoMo and Itochu to trial IoT solution for delivery fleet management in the US

NTT DoCoMo and Itochu Logistics are planning to trial an internet-of-things solution for delivery fleet management in the US.

The system uses devices compatible with low-power, wide-area LTE-M technology to enable delivery businesses to visualize the status of outsourced trucks in their fleets.

The trial will begin in the United States on May 1, 2019.

The solution involves placing hand-held, battery- or solar-powered devices in trucks to collect data, such as truck locations and frequency of sudden braking, which will be sent through an LTE network to a dedicated website.

The solution can also provide temperature, humidity, brightness, etc. data depending on delivery needs, as well as notify customers via email when the trucks approach their destinations.

Itochu Logistics USA expects to save time using the solution compared to the conventional method of manually phoning drivers to confirm their locations and estimated delivery times.

The solution, used in combination with Itochu Logistics’ delivery-truck network and logistics system, will be tested for its effectiveness in supporting the management and safety of truck fleets at a time when the demand for truck deliveries is increasing.

While most delivery trucks are equipped with GPS devices, the location data typically is available to the owner but not to logistics/transport companies that retain the trucks on an outsourced basis. The solution’s easily deployed LTE-M devices, however, will give logistics/transport companies dedicated access to location and other useful information about trucks operating temporarily in their fleets.

The trial is part of the Globiot global-IoT initiative that DoCoMo launched on July 2, 2018 to provide global connectivity, operational support and consulting to Japanese enterprises.

Going forward, the solution is expected to be marketed widely throughout the United States, Japan and Asia.