In a world where climate change and environmental responsibility are increasingly pivotal concerns, the logistics sector is under scrutiny. The potential for decarbonization in the transportation industry is vast. One of the low-hanging fruits of decarbonizing road transportation is digitalization. An easy and simple way to implement and still with potential for emissions reduction. 

Recent studies and analyses initiated by Girteka Group in cooperation with one of the leading truck manufacturers prove that small steps in updating software for trucks can influence the level of fuel consumption and therefore the overall emission from heavy goods transportation. Besides discussing and implementing new battery-electric vehicles, hydrogen vehicles, or utilizing HVO, the behaviour of drivers, way of driving, speeding, and accelerating is crucial for overall fuel level consumption. And having more than 2.8 trillion kilometres driven by trucks in 2022 even the smallest change can have a huge influence in scale.

While Eco League by Girteka presents an immediate opportunity for decarbonization through easy educational initiatives with minimal investment, the current driver shortage and the influx of new drivers in the road transportation industry signal that its full potential is yet to be realized. Many truck drivers and logistics companies have not yet incorporated such awareness programs, leaving substantial room for influencing driver behavior and fuel consumption practices. 

Intelligent Software to Tackle Emissions

Girteka Group, being focused on digitalizing its operations, collects enormous amounts of data from its trucks. This data is very valuable in terms of analysing and upgrading performance. A recent project, which started with delivering data from 300 trucks, allowed to investigate and find the best suitable and tailor-made software solution to tackle the emissions. The system integrates digital technologies to read the route and map in real-time, allowing trucks to use the maximum kinetic energy the vehicle can utilize, optimizing smoother movements, acceleration, and braking, while using cruise control. The partnership includes two types of proprietary software, already being installed in more than 100 trucks. 

The main features of the software are:

– Smoother the acceleration

– Anticipate the speed limits thanks to sign recognition

– Using kinetic energy during braking and accelerating

– Enhance cruise control

– Improved eco-driving 

“The results of our analysis were astonishing. With simple changing software in trucks, we were able to reduce fuel consumption and emissions by 1.2 litre per 100 km, which is approx. 4%” – says Arvydas Petrikas, Project Manager in the Transport Development Department at Girteka Group. 

With the newest software installed on the part of trucks while the driver is accelerating, systems avoid speeding too much and therefore consume additional fuel. The trucks also can read and respond to speed limits and other road signs in terms of speeding and breaking as well as topography of planned routes. The digital system integrates with local data, adjusting speed automatically, thereby helping to maintain an eco-friendly operation and reducing the chances of speed-related incidents. 

Data-Driven Feedback Loop

The performance of each truck is continuously monitored and shared. This data is compared with baseline metrics to measure the effectiveness of the new features both in reducing carbon emissions and improving safety. 

The installation of these features is not a one-off event. By the end of the year, Girteka is planning to equip another part manufacturer’s trucks with this technology. The scale at which the company will implement these changes is significant; it amplifies the reduction in carbon footprint and sets a standard for the logistics industry.

Potential of scale

Typical fuel usage for these trucks is approximately 28 litres per 100 km[1]. A 1.2-liter reduction, therefore, signifies a 4.3% decrease in fuel and subsequent carbon emissions. If we implement similar solutions in each of the 6.2 million trucks[2] today the effects can be enormous, allowing us to meet the newest decarbonization targets for HGV.

In the quest for decarbonization, every small step counts. By partnering between logistics companies and manufacturers and leveraging the power of digitalization, the whole sector can make strides in reducing environmental impact without sacrificing operational efficiency. It’s a vivid illustration of how technology and scale can come together to forge a more sustainable future.

“This is a forward-thinking, data-backed approach that not only provides immediate benefits but also positions us as thought leaders in responsible logistics and transportation. It’s not just about being bigger; it’s about being smarter and more sustainable for the world we all share.” – summarizes Arvyda Petrikas.