How IoT startups are changing the landscape of transport industry in India

Rohit Chaturvedi, CEO Transport Hub

IoT (Internet of Things) is the new wave proliferating the global scene. It has gained traction over the years owing to substantial benefits realised by industry players and consumers alike and is currently being used on a large number by big and small businesses in India. IoT is penetrating across cross-section of industries like energy, power, retail, agriculture, healthcare, telecom, transport, manufacturing and logistics. IoT along with analytics is helping industries to achieve their long-term business goals as IoT awareness is growing amongst them.

Increasing efficiency and lowering costs are the two major advantages that have played a significant role in driving IoT adoption. With an exponential growth projected for IoT globally, the number of connected devices is expected to grow 5.5x to 20.8 billion and revenue expected to grow over 3x to USD 3 trillion by 2020. As the picture globally for IoT market is bright, its adoption by a number of industry in India is the next obvious and logical business step.

The growth for IoT market in India will be driven initially by Automotive and manufacturing industries and its allied business services like transportation and logistics being a major revenue generator for IoT businesses. IoT is also fast becoming a sought after choice for a large number of other industries due to low fixed costs, declining cost of connectivity as well as overall business benefits. IoT enabled services have also piqued consumers’ interest owing to increased reliance on mobile devices.

The rise of IoT enabled services are supported by the emergence of start-ups in India. They are already playing important role and will continue to do so in future. A quick view of industry landscape suggests that India’s IoT ecosystem has diverse set of players like hardware vendors, application vendors, network operators, system integrators and amongst these 60-65 percent players are startups that are working in varied industry arena.

The IoT startups in India help optimise, innovate and transform business processes and are fundamentally altering ways with which businesses are run.

From the users’ perspective transport and logistics industry is the second largest segment investing in IoT. IoT is enabling smart transportation which has rapidly changed the trucking industry with the help of cutting-edge technologies along with mobile connectivity.

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To make trucking a more effective system, IoT has made it all possible from effective road safety issues to monitoring of the system in fleet management. Businesses seek real-time fleet information so that they can reap long term benefits by making intelligent real-time decisions. In a simplified way, the use of IoT enables one to keep track of operational efficiency, fuel consumption, managing the wear and tear of tyres, accident response, GPS tracking, and route navigation. It also enables smart inventory management which is most crucial for a business which gives real time information about warehousing, distribution and production centres. Although IoT has made impressive headways in the transport and logistics sector, the focus has been on using it as correction based technology rather than making it preventive.

This is about to change as the bigger transformation is underway with the combination of IoT and Machine Learning (ML). The availability of huge amount of data through IoT and cheaper computing are giving a fillip to companies looking to harness the power of Machine Learning. ML techniques can predict a defined problem using supervised learning or even find hitherto unidentified patterns utilising unsupervised learning algorithms.

The use of IoT in transport industry has increased accountability while making it cost effective in current form. But the industry will witness far more substantial benefits in near future with the advent of mass solutions combining IoT, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence.

(Views expressed in this article are of Rohit Chaturvedi, CEO, Transport Hub)