If you have any doubts so as to whether the Indian scene is going full on smart and digital or not, then this will completely clear them. I just came across this survey from Mahindra where we have to choose the features of an ideal smart truck.
Not only do I find this fact extremely important but also quite an answer to global leaders in the smart vehicles race by our own big Indian vehicle machine. Finally an Indian company is trying to venture into the smart vehicle race with an increased domain of vehicles, essentially trucks. With the positive brand value that Mahindra & Mahindra has, I am intrigued over the outcome of this project.
You can find the survey here. Go Ahead, look for yourself!
The general scene of Indian trucks is not very good. I mean, most of you must get the point about what I am saying. Generally, our trucks are very poorly built, have substandard safety equipment and are not suitable for travelling in rough terrains or carrying heavy overloads.
Look at this video from History Channel:
One can see the point almost instantly. Not only the safety of the driver is at risk but also the valuable goods that these trucks carry. We need to modernize our trucks and smart technology has to be the solution at the moment. Safety standards need improvement and focus also has to be given to the health of drivers as most often truck routes are over 1000s of kilometers long. However, with multiple investments from foreign companies like Chrysler and Volvo, the scene is improving.
Now with Mahindra taking this survey to improve its next line of trucks, one can only expect the best. With 24 features enlisted, I chose 7 of them. Here is why I chose them. I have mentioned the exact features as listed on the survey page.
Here my 7 essential features for #FuelSmartTruck
1. Offers both power & best in class mileage
Well, I know it sounds too ideal, but, who knows, with so many advances in technology every now and then, may be this is achievable too. Truckers generally drive on long routes and if Mahindra can offer higher power of vehicles with increased fuel efficiency then it would beneficial for truckers financially making the operations more cost effective.
2. A truck with highest safety measures
This is one of the most important points for me. I mean if you compare safety in trucks used in other developed and developing countries then you will find start differences.
American trucks have cabins, which automatically eject in the case of severe accidents, like capsules protecting the people inside. I don’t believe any such concept exists for Indian trucks. If you look closely at the base, rigid design, which is often, reinforced steel over wooden frameworks, then you will see that our trucks are completely unsafe.
Therefore, I would like some safety measures to be included like:
- Seat belts and air bags
- Alternate Exit Options
- Robust and tensile designs
- Emergency outreach options: For instance, instant alerts can be sent to the local police station and accident helpline in case of an accident.
- Payload Safety Equipment
Want to add something? Why not share it in the comments with #FuelSmartTruck. Spread the word!
3. Advanced technology
Technology can not only increase the safety of the driver and payload but also bring down costs and result in more profitable operations. Here are some aspects of smart technology that can be incorporated:
- Smart Sensors: These can be used to transmit vital data to the main hub. This data can include travel distances, fuel consumptions, and power generations and malfunction alerts. Factors like air pressure of tires can also be calculated using these sensors. This information can be used to calculate patterns and trends, which can lead to ideas to bring down cost of such operations. It will also help drivers maintain their vehicles better.
- Traffic Sensors: Such sensors relay vital information like traffic congestion and possibilities of alternate routes to the driver. These are generally included in the navigation systems.
- Sleep Sensors: These can be used to alert drivers in case they doze off while driving.
There can be other innovative ideas where smart technology can be used to make trucking more efficient, healthier and safer.
4.With ready arrangement for GPS and other fitments
I believe everything should be equipped with Internet these days. Cars are coming with Internet equipped navigation systems and dashboards. So can trucks.
I believe smart trucks can’t be called smart unless they are equipped with Internet powered navigation systems. These systems are connected with geo-positioning satellites that help drivers in selecting the most efficient routes possible cause it is the best way to save fuel costs and make journeys less time-taking.
5. A truck with entertainment options in cabin
Now that is purely based on my love for the life of truckers. Imagine you driving your car to your office without your stereo. Can be irritating right? Truckers travel 1000s of kilometers fighting traffic jams, irritating roads and dangerous terrain.
Now, wouldn’t they want to relax once in while and watch or listen to something good while enjoying their hot dhaba meal. So lets give them seats, which are comfortable and flexible so that they can take those much-needed breaks. Some built in television and stereo also won’t be bad. What do you say? Shouldn’t truckers get their due?
6. An untiring truck, not heating up in grueling long drive
The transport industry literally runs on trucks when it comes to roadways. That is why; we need vehicles that are powerful, built with high capacity engines, aerodynamically designed, with hydraulic suspension support, anti-inertial upper bodies (that increase driver safety).
Features like Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Braking Systems (EBS), and high tensile strength tires should be incorporated.
Inspiration can be taken from the Volvo FMX, which has excellent features when it comes to specs.
7.Comfortable to drive without fatigue
I guess if all the above aspects are covered, then the truckers would find driving much more comfortable. However, some things can still be added. For instance, smart health sensors can alert drivers that they need to take a break and get some rest in order to drive safely. Biologically designed seats can also be included who minimize the risk of back pains and knee pains, which are common complaints amongst experienced truck drivers. What do you think?
With the smart car race already on full peddle across continents, its only time that firms like Mahindra started applying the concept to mainstream heavy vehicles and reap the profits of entering a relatively new market early.
I am personally a Mahindra supporter. I believe that their products are high in quality and the customer support is very genuine and apt.
With the #FuelSmartTruck campaign, I think their initiative to ensure consumer satisfaction and venture into the smart technology sector is an excellent endeavor.
I hope we see some smart trucks from Mahindra real soon. May be some the features I list might get included. May be in the future this leads to driver-less trucks like Google’s driverless cars. How great would that be?
I’m writing this blog post for the MTBD #FuelSmartActivity at BlogAdda.
If you want to add your own opinion then follow this link and do it. Your opinion counts.