Telematics: essential for a successful energy transition – road transport

Telematics occupies an important place in the trucking industry today. It will also enable transportation companies to facilitate their energy transition, according to Anthony Mainville, president of Geotab integrator AttriX Technologies.

At the conference “From Data to Action: Why Telematics is the Essential Element of a Successful Energy Transition,” presented at the Transportation Electrification and Alternative Fuels Symposium held October 4 by the Trucking Association of Quebec (ACQ) was organized, Mr. Mainville explained how data management can help network operators better organize their energy transition.

Telematics allows the management of various elements associated with a truck such as position, speed, distance and travel time, idle time, sudden braking and driving, seat belt use, fuel consumption, vehicle breakdowns, battery voltage, other engine data, etc. This is a lot that trucking companies have to take into account , and the introduction of alternative energy trucks will complicate matters even further.

“Everything is securely connected to your internal systems and transportation management,” explains Anthony Mainville. But in the coming years the complexity will quadruple because you have to manage different energy sources.”

Anthony Mainville during his conference at the ACQ conference (Photo: David Simard-Jean)Anthony Mainville during his conference at the ACQ conference (Photo: David Simard-Jean)


The energy transition will indeed lead to changes for transport modes in the field of telematics. Not only do you need to consider the different types of fuel (diesel under new regulations, natural gas, electricity, hydrogen), but also other aspects such as costs, return on investment, and assistance and assistance programs. Support.

In addition, the company’s previous data must be taken into account and combined with the new one to paint a better picture for carbon-neutral trucks. “All of this is controlled by data from your current vehicles. “Using this previous data, you can predict your future needs,” explains the president of AttriX.

He adds that it takes a lot of planning to properly integrate zero-emission innovations into business data.

“You should always analyze your data, rethink and revise your strategy to adapt to these new technologies. Also compare your strategy with the greenhouse gas reduction path you have set internally and with the path your customers and the industry are demanding.

Applications in the energy transition

Anthony Mainville offers some ideas for getting started and continuing the transition.

Elements that must be considered before a fleet’s energy transition include identifying qualified trucks, assessing energy needs, training and preparing staff, partnerships and collaborations, and investments and return on investment (ROI). During the transition it will be necessary to add management of a mixed fleet and adaptability to climatic conditions.

Telematics will also be useful for the dispatcher in several ways, transforming his role as a route assignor into that of a dispatcher. The terminals will be able to more easily display the status of top-ups and allow best practices to be better identified.

For Anthony Mainville, managing this new data will involve a lot of trial and error, particularly when it comes to truck autonomy, one of the biggest challenges in alternative energy.

“These are elements that you will use with telematics to plan your routes, adjust your data and do trial and error,” he says. “You can probably access the data with an EIM through a manufacturer or charging provider, but the reality is that fleets will end up with a variety of technologies and multiple integrations. In addition, all of these systems must be connected to your existing transport systems. That’s the problem.”

A technological cycle

Even if companies have completed their energy transition, we must not neglect the steps they have taken, as the industry may need to quickly implement new revolutionary technologies.

“We will always have to start the process over again. From experience I can say that the energy transition, regardless of the fuel system or technology, is a forever new beginning because everything is evolving quickly.

Therefore, in his opinion, it is important to take a look at what is happening in the community. “Stay informed. The industry is evolving extremely quickly. I should definitely hold this conference in six months because in the future a lot will have evolved and changed.

Regardless of whether you have CO2-neutral vehicles or not, telematics should definitely not be neglected. “The goal of tomorrow’s telematics is to help you find answers faster and easier, to automate the assignment of your routes, but always with the aim of making the work of your managers and drivers easier.”