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automotive transportation
09 Feb

The AV Shadow Track and Trace Technology Featured in Automotive Logistics Magazine

AutoVentive is honored that our AV Shadow Track and Trace Technology has been featured in Automotive Logistics Magazine, a respected publication in the industry. This feature represents a significant milestone for us, acknowledging the impact our technology is having in transforming automotive transportation.

Recent advancements in software have greatly smoothed the vehicle shipping process, enhancing tracking and visibility to reduce risks. However, with the integration of AI, our AV Shadow technology goes beyond conventional tracking. It’s a sophisticated solution engineered to address key challenges in vehicle logistics. AutoVentive’s technological progress enables original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and logistics firms to track shipments, learn from past incidents and prevent future damages.

What is AV Shadow Track and Trace Technology?

AV Shadow is an advanced telematics tracking system providing users with a digital blueprint of every vehicle’s location, operation and status as your assets move from origin to destination, all in real-time. Telematics is a technology that merges telecommunications and informatics to provide various services like tracking and monitoring vehicles.

AV Shadow operates by seamlessly integrating into vehicles, facilitating the extraction of critical vehicle data such as the vehicle identification number, fuel level, global positioning system (GPS), G-force readings and various vehicle statuses through the on-board diagnostics (OBD) port. This integration with the car’s computer system extends the capability of AV Shadow to capture and relay any data the vehicle can provide.

However, the significance of AV Shadow goes beyond mere data extraction. Embedded within the device is an accelerometer that captures the dynamic forces impacting the vehicle. This inherent feature bestows a distinct advantage through its direct connection to the vehicle. AV Shadow effectively assumes the role of an integral vehicle component. This integration ensures that the G-forces experienced by the device mirror those encountered by the vehicle itself. The outcome is a comprehensive understanding of the forces at play during vehicle operations, presenting a more holistic perspective on potential damages and stress points across the rail network.

Challenges in Automotive Transportation

Shippers and logistics service providers rank visibility as the top overall management priority, reversing a three-year decline, according to the 2023 Global Transportation Management Benchmark Survey. This growing demand for enhanced visibility in the logistics sector aligns closely with AutoVentive’s goals. 

Two years ago, our journey at AutoVentive began with limited supply insights. We aimed to develop a product to enhance visibility into damage occurrences along the rail network. The culmination of this effort led to the creation of AV Shadow. 

In our final trial, AutoVentive embarked on a journey from Michigan to explore different destinations. What we encountered was real-world damage. Seeing genuine damage underscored the critical role of data in our project. Only when we witnessed that event did we truly understand if the product would work. It was a moment of real validation. 

To understand the significance of our project, we needed a way to visualize the data effectively. That’s when we developed a powerful dashboard that utilizes data to ensure our product works.   

Today, we’ve leveraged the power of AV Shadow to transform data into actionable advantages. 

At the 130th Damage Prevention & Freight Claim Conference, I presented new railcar tracking technology to better monitor assets in real time. By monitoring shipments’ location, condition and utilization, industry professionals can make data-driven decisions to improve efficiency, reduce downtime and allocate resources more effectively. AV Shadow provided tangible evidence of damage that enabled users to pinpoint the location and nature of issues — allowing us to address them proactively. AV Shadow identified these specific challenges:

Preventing Shipping Damage

The most pressing concern in automotive transportation is preventing damage during shipping. Adopting advanced technologies that anticipate potential issues and intervene early in the shipping process is essential, ensuring that vehicles are delivered in their best condition.

In a trial, we initially observed that the damage occurred right at the vehicle where it was being spotted. The AV Shadow dashboard revealed that the ignition wasn’t on, confirming that it was in the railcar and not being driven when the incident happened. It also showed the map where the actual damage occurred and a 3D model showing the actual event.

With AV Shadow tracing what happens to a vehicle from dispatch to arrival, it’s possible to pinpoint exactly where damage might have occurred. You can discover what went wrong during an incident by providing real-time visibility inside the railcar. 

In addition, real-time consignment tracking is a valuable byproduct. AutoVentive informs you about consignment movements and their locations, ensuring superior visibility.

Elevated Handling, Railcar Ramming and Movement Damage

As the rail cars move, there is a slight looseness between them, causing them to bump into each other as they gain momentum. This results in the cars at the end receiving a considerable jolt. Conversely, when braking occurs, the cars at the back, still in motion, eventually crash into each other with considerable impact due to their continued forward movement.

Our software detects such movements and records data on the position and force of impacts and the precise area of damage on the vehicle. AutoVentive’s innovative tracking system, AV Shadow, precisely locates and verifies inventory, allowing users to pinpoint potential damage locations with a 3D rendering, saving valuable time and resources.

Through AI, we map out factors like elevated handling — a potential cause of vehicle damage during shipping — and provide heat maps to clients to reveal hotspots along shipping routes with higher risks. With our work with Ford on trials, we identified areas of potential damage and advised route adjustments based on data analytics.

During our collaboration with Ford, we raised a vehicle, then pushed forward and slightly to the right while being transported. Through this event, we identified potential areas of damage. While data analytics and raw data have limitations, the real value lies in how our system interprets and presents this information to our clients.

In another instance, we equipped a NASCAR vehicle with one of our devices and monitored the vehicle’s real-time movements through the incoming data stream. This unique experience allowed us to observe the vehicle undergoing high G-force conditions directly, giving us a clear view of the vehicle’s performance and stress points through the data.

Combatting Theft in Automotive Transportation

A staggering 1,090 cargo theft incidents were recorded in the U.S. in 2022, with automobiles and auto parts making the top five stolen products, according to Overhaul’s annual report

These theft incidents pose serious challenges for businesses, such as loss of valuable assets, increased operational costs and potential disruptions to essential services. With the AV Shadow, you can maintain real-time tracking of your assets through geofencing technology that precisely locates and verifies inventory.

In one of our trials, we added another product that sits along the AV Shadow, which can tell you whether the door was opened or closed in real time. We generated real-time alerts to say your door was open en route but wasn’t at the final destination, indicating to send someone over because the vehicle may have been broken into.

Safety in Yard Logistics 

AutoVentive added an entire yard movement tracking system. We wanted to be able to monitor not only the vehicle once loaded onto the railcar but also while in the yard — when people are moving vehicles and how they move them in the yard. We added in alerts for speeding inside the yard, harsh cornering and braking. Because the device is plugged into the vehicle, we can give you real-time speed inside the railcar.

Say a vehicle has an issue with its air conditioning pump while it’s sitting in the yard; the software will notify us not to ship it.  It will also tell us things like whether or not the battery levels in electrified vehicles indicate recharging. If so, the system will prompt our yard management.

Efficient Vehicle Identification and Management

Efficiently managing vehicles in logistics yards is crucial. AutoVentive’s technology, including the AV Shadow, enhances yard logistics by communicating crucial information such as VIN numbers and engine management codes. It helps identify vehicle issues and prevents shipping, if necessary, to streamline operations, increasing efficiency and safety. 

Optimizing Automotive Transportation with AV Shadow Technology

Disruption in the supply chain is perceived by 89% of organizations as the top risk for business growth over the next 18 months, according to a report by the Capgemini Research Institute. To minimize the impact, executives plan to direct investments in supply chain technologies to enable agility, transparency and visibility. AV Shadow is a cutting-edge solution designed to enhance supply chain resilience, which is exactly what drives the prestigious recognition from industry-leading publications like Automotive Logistics Magazine.

AutoVentive takes data and feeds it into machine-learning algorithms, teaching machines to recognize damage and good ground movements. So when a vehicle is 200 miles from its destination, AV Shadow can tell you if it’s damaged. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Let data drive your decisions.
Transform your automotive manufacturing operations with AV Shadow. Request a personalized demonstration and see how this technology can enhance your shipping efficiency and safeguard the integrity of your automotive transportation.

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