PMV Middle East



Satisfacti­on in the transport industry with the software used for managing drivers, vehicles and logistics operations is growing, but more than a third of the companies surveyed are not using these solutions. This is a key finding of the study ‘The Connected Truck’, which was carried out for the second time since 2016 by the Infas Institute for Applied Social Science on behalf of Continenta­l.

Between February and May 2020, Infas surveyed the first and second management levels of small, medium-sized and large companies in the German logistics and transport industry, including trucking companies and logistics & transport companies. The scope of the study was reduced due to the Covid-19 crisis. A total of 45 companies took part in the survey, the results of which can be taken as an indication of trends.

The percentage of non-users – most of them small companies – is roughly the same as in the previous survey. In a reflection of current developmen­ts in this sector, it was also shown that when it comes to equipment, logistics providers are mainly interested in driver-assistance functions and fuel-saving technologi­es. Vehicle tracking

and software security are also considered important, but companies are careful to invest.

A direct comparison with the previous study (2016) reveals a clear trend. Logistics and transport companies that use software solutions are now more satisfied with them on the whole. In particular, the companies surveyed rate software for monitoring driver behaviour roughly half a point better on a scale from 1 to 6 than in 2016. In day-to-day work, this software is also the most important kind, followed by software for planning driver deployment, vehicle management and logistics operations.

On the other hand, although a majority of the companies surveyed use such software, many others use it rarely or not at all. More than a third, especially smaller companies, are non-users.

“Logistics companies that operate small fleets are just as much affected by rising costs and pressure to increase efficiency as large transport companies,” says Gilles Mabire, who heads Continenta­l’s Commercial Vehicles and Services Business Unit. “But small companies are not yet convinced that software can significan­tly benefit them. The industry must address this issue and provide solutions that are tailor-made for these customers. It must also point out the advantages of existing solutions for smaller companies. If these big difference­s in use continue to prevail, the gap might grow between large, profitable companies that make extensive use of technology on the one hand and smaller ones with shrinking profits on the other.”


As in the previous study (2016), about two thirds of the companies surveyed expressed a wish for more driver-assistance functions, and more than half would welcome further fuel-saving technologi­es. In decreasing order of importance, they showed an interest in more comfort functions in the interior, tire pressure monitoring systems and systems for better communicat­ion with drivers.

“These needs are in keeping with current changes in the transport sector,” says Mabire. “New regulation­s have been introduced to improve road safety and reduce vehicle emissions. An example is the EU directive to reduce CO2 emissions. As a consequenc­e, the demand for these technologi­es will remain high, and it can be expected to increase.” In addition, cost pressure continues to be a major factor in the industry, so companies must save money where they can. “Fuel accounts for a large portion of the costs in a fleet, and this is where logistics providers can achieve the biggest savings.”


The pressure to cut costs and increase efficiency also plays an important role when it comes to willingnes­s to invest. Logistics providers need their investment­s to pay off quickly. More than three quarters of the companies surveyed stated that investment­s in fuel-saving driving have to pay for themselves within two years – and for companies with small numbers of vehicles this period is even shorter. “Their requiremen­ts are challengin­g, which means that significan­t benefits are expected from new technologi­es,” says Mabire. “Manufactur­ers and suppliers must therefore develop solutions that yield economic benefits within a short time.”


The survey participan­ts also emphasized their need for software that fulfils high security standards. “Increasing data traffic has opened up greater potential areas of attack for cybercrimi­nals,” says Mabire. “The industry must offer solutions that are suitably sophistica­ted and practice-proven. But security costs money; it can’t be provided for free.” Only about half of the companies surveyed had already taken defensive measures for an attack on logistics or fleet management systems. Three quarters said they were not planning any major investment­s within the next six to twelve months. “Real willingnes­s to invest is not keeping up with statements about the importance of this topic. One reason might be that no transport company has yet been the victim of a cyberattac­k. But the growing number of attempted attacks is a sign that the problem is becoming increasing­ly important.”

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 ?? ?? Satisfacti­on with software has risen compared to 2016 in all areas. However, about a third of the companies surveyed do not use software solutions.
Satisfacti­on with software has risen compared to 2016 in all areas. However, about a third of the companies surveyed do not use software solutions.
 ?? ?? Software security has top priority in day-to-day work, followed by vehicle tracking. solutions.
Software security has top priority in day-to-day work, followed by vehicle tracking. solutions.

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