Meet our customer hero
Innovate your fleet with solar energy in the TRAILAR way
Today the megatrends of digitalization, individualization and decarbonization are the key drivers of industrial change in our times. And DHL’s next-gen subsidiary TRAILAR sits at the intersection of all three. The company has an innovative solution that helps commercial vehicles save fuel and reduce carbon-dioxide emissions (those vehicles account for almost 38 percent of emissions from transportation in Europe). The TRAILAR system sends energy generated from ultra-thin, flexible solar mats mounted on the roof of commercial vehicles into the vehicle battery. That energy can power the vehicle’s onboard electrical equipment, from the tail lift, lights to air conditioning. But the potential of this solution doesn’t stop with fuel savings.
With telematics, a whole host of new services and solutions can be offered, powered by the insights driven out of the data generated in the process. And eager to be as efficient as their solution, TRAILAR needed a partner to enable just this. A joint proof of concept using Software AG’s IoT and streaming analytics technology won the day. Though the competition could all offer tools for capturing fuel savings in real time, Cumulocity IoT’s potential to start quickly and scale quicker coupled with an “out of the box” simplicity was truly differentiating. TRAILAR was ready for operation in less than six months. The implementation on the customer side did not take longer than a few hours, and with Software AG’s IoT competence center, the experts helped to determine their entire GTM. They were in!
A critical outcome for TRAILAR needed to be transparency. Key to its positioning was the company’s promise to bring data on fuel efficiency into focus and display it on simple, versatile dashboards for customers to see. With real-time streaming analytics, TRAILAR can stream the fuel consumption analytics and integrate and present them simply and clearly to the end customer. The TRAILAR vision was clearly in the best of hands. And this was strongly confirmed when analysts positioned Software AG’s platform as “Visionary” in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Industrial Internet of Things.
Behind the scenes at TRAILAR, Cumulocity IoT now collects the telematics data of the installed solar mats in the cloud and visualizes them in a dashboard. On the basis of this raw data, the IoT platform also calculates the fuel savings—ranging from between 2.5 and 7.5 percent per vehicle—and in turn the respective carbon emissions saved per year. The platform can also be used to organize device management across the entire fleet and to integrate additional applications. In short, TRAILAR’s new IoT platform does everything in one: device application, IoT device management, data visualization, raw data analysis and visualization of data.
And it does all this with no integration headaches because it’s designed to work independently and openly with pretty much anything.
So far, the technology has been well received. The British trade association Freight Transport Association (FTA) named it the most innovative product in 2018. And in 2019 visitors to the “Logistics Congress” in Germany provided great feedback on the joint appearance of Software AG and TRAILAR. And they deserve it. Together, the two have made the dream of a greener world powered by data and insights for efficient fleet management a reality. And it’s virtually unrivalled in the world. With new use cases being tested—ranging from big data analytics to reports on how speed or braking behavior effects fuel efficiency stats—TRAILAR could easily start to naturally outgrow its existing niche. After all, in protecting a finite world, the potential for IoT-driven smart energy and logistics is infinite.