The technologies Google has developed over the years are tools that could potentially overhual logistics that we know today. Here are some examples of hoe Google's technoloy can change the face of logistics:
In the near future, truck drivers will no longer be necessary as cars become automated. Not only can companies cut costs on salaries and benefits, the chances of human error and accidents drop as the driverless vehicles are obedient law abiders. They drive at the speed limit stored on their maps and its system of sensors ensure they maintain a safe distance from all other vehicles. While just about every automaker is in the race to develop driverless cars, it can be said that Google is ahead in the race.
Google Maps and Android Devices
Google's control of Android mobile devices after its aquisition Motorola Mobility gave it the unique opportunity to combine Google Maps and Android devices. This enables a range of logistics applications and capabilities: Voice activated, GPS enabled, turn-by-turn navigation; real-time congestion information for urban areas; indoor maps with detailed floor plans and highly accurate information on indoor locations for easier access and use by delivery personnel.
If the Google Maps routing application could be developed to consider truck height and weight or Hazmat restrictions, or use historical data to predict congestion on routes and ways around such congestions, the application could become the ultimate application for drivers everywhere.
The Google search engine is being improved with “assist” functions which aims to include context in the search engine to narrow down results according to the user's specific needs. With information derived from email, calendar, past searches, and location information, the search tool could, in theory, keep track of high congestion levels and alert a truck to leave for an airport now, rather than later as scheduled, so as to not to miss the flight.
A Google Maps application built for logistics could incorporate the idea of context aware devices. Currently, consumer users of Google Maps for Android can search for restaurants and businesses near them. The highlight for truck drivers might be a Google Map displaying rest points, gas stations and weigh stations.
With the Motorola Mobility acquisition, Google also gained control of a patent for a container tracking system that provides real-time visibility and control for both inventory at rest and in motion. The shipping containers are equipped with sensors that are used to detect conditions related with the shipping containers. In this container-tracking applicaion system, the information is then transmitted in the network of shipping containers via satellite or cellular communications.
Whether Google will transform logistics is uncertain. But once technologies and the potential exist, there is no doubt that companies will use these technologies to differentiate themselves. It is highly possible that other IT firms will license these technologies from Google. By using these technologies as a foundation to develop and invent new capabilities, it may not be far off to think that new applications can be created which would transform the logsitics of the future.