IVECO Enhances Truck Driver Experience Using Voice-Activated Solution on AWS
Truck drivers face many challenges, and commercial vehicle manufacturer IVECO is constantly researching solutions to help them in their daily lives behind the wheel. Wanting to promote more efficient and more comfortable journeys for long-haul drivers, IVECO looked to develop an innovative tool on Amazon Web Services (AWS).
After participating in an AWS Digital Innovation Engagement through the AWS Digital Innovation Program, IVECO built Driver Pal, a tool that enables truckers to interact with their vehicles through voice commands using the MYIVECO feature. Driver Pal also features MYCOMMUNITY, a tool that enables drivers in vehicles manufactured by IVECO and other companies to record, access, or listen to useful messages from nearby truckers.
We’re at the forefront of an automotive revolution now, and AWS will continue to be a major part of this journey.”
Brand President, IVECO
Developing a Digital Solution to Reduce Driver Distractions
IVECO manages production sites throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, Oceania, and Latin America, where it produces vehicles using advanced technologies. In March 2019, the IVECO team met the AWS Automotive team, which helps companies fuel digital transformation efforts, and learned of “Working Backwards,” an Amazon process that encourages companies to brainstorm solutions by using a customer challenge as the starting point. The AWS Digital Innovation team offers this approach as a service to AWS customers. “The ‘Working Backwards’ process is perfectly aligned with our strategic vision to improve the lives of our drivers through greater attention to their health, safety, productivity, and sustainability,” says Fabrizio Conicella, global head of digital and advanced technology for commercial and specialty vehicles at IVECO. “After this, we scheduled another meeting for August 2019.”
During its AWS Digital Innovation Engagement, IVECO used the “Working Backwards” mechanism and identified one major customer issue: handling multiple tasks while operating large vehicles. Truckers must interact with different tools, menus, and devices to perform their jobs. “As a truck driver, you need to be absolutely connected all the time,” says Thomas Hilse, brand president at IVECO as of May 2021. “You need to talk to your transport company for new orders, be aware of deviations, schedule maintenance for technical issues, stay in contact with friends and family, and so on. While driving a 40-ton truck, this can be very stressful.”
Through its AWS Digital Innovation Engagement, IVECO developed a proof of concept for Driver Pal, a voice-activated tool that would combine these tasks into a singular solution and enhance driver journeys through integration with the driver’s vehicle and surroundings. IVECO completed the first demo of Driver Pal in September 2020 and began developing the solution in December. It built Driver Pal through support from AWS Professional Services, a global team of experts that helps companies realize their desired business outcomes on AWS.
Improving Driver Efficiency, Comfort, and Connectivity on AWS
In June 2021, IVECO launched Driver Pal with two skills: MYIVECO, which enables the driver to interact with the vehicle, and MYCOMMUNITY, which facilitates communication between drivers. Using these tools, IVECO drivers can use voice commands to manage their journeys and plan their routes—a solution that improves overall safety, efficiency, and comfort. With MYIVECO, drivers can control elements inside their vehicle, such as heating, air conditioning, and lights. MYIVECO can also access media, check a vehicle’s health, and request maintenance or emergency support. Drivers can use it to search for points of interest, such as rest areas, IVECO workshops, and methane filling stations. The solution uses AWS Lambda, a serverless compute service that lets developers run code without provisioning or managing servers, to process requests between the driver’s voice commands and the IVECO systems. AWS Lambda automatically scales application by running code in response to each event, providing consistent performance.
Using MYCOMMUNITY, drivers can access, record, or listen to messages along their routes. The skill enriches messages with location data and sentiments by using Amazon Comprehend, a natural language processing service that uses machine learning to uncover information in unstructured data, and solutions from AWS Marketplace, a curated digital catalog that makes it easy for organizations to discover, procure, entitle, provision, and govern third-party software. With this functionality, drivers can notify each other about hazards such as accidents or inclement weather and share tips about local restaurants, rest stops, and hotels. Drivers can use this information to plan their routes and avoid delays or dangerous road conditions.
Driver Pal also facilitates communication across languages and borders. “In Europe, you can cross multiple countries that speak different languages in just a few hours,” says Hilse. To deliver MYCOMMUNITY messages in the driver’s native language, IVECO uses Amazon Translate, a neural machine translation service that delivers fast, high-quality, affordable, and customizable language translation. The solution is available in Italian, English, French, Spanish, and German, and IVECO plans to implement more languages in the future.
Driver Pal also enables drivers to access IVECO’s connectivity-enabled services. During the journey, the vehicle’s Connectivity box collects data, which is processed into a Driving Style Evaluation score. The trucker can check this score through Driver Pal and use it to better understand their driving skills. Driver Pal also enables access to personalized tips so that drivers can improve safety and fuel efficiency, and it facilitates communication with other IVECO digital services. “Driver Pal turns the vehicle into a true travel companion,” says Hilse. “This tool not only enables drivers to interact vocally with their vehicles but also with other IVECO digital services. It takes our connectivity to the next level.”
Continuing to Transform the Driver Experience
Using Driver Pal, truck drivers can share and receive near-real-time information relevant to their journeys and control multiple cab functions using voice activation. In the future, IVECO plans to update Driver Pal every 6 months with new content and use AWS to enhance its artificial intelligence capabilities. The company is also using AWS services to develop a digital transformation program to promote a customer-centric approach and stronger integration between company processes, such as manufacturing and supply chain management. “The AWS Digital Innovation Engagement not only led us to develop Driver Pal but also changed our way of working,” says Conicella. “We have symbolically adopted an empty chair icon that we use in meetings to remind us to always take the customer’s point of view into account.”
As IVECO’s vehicles and processes become more automated, its Driver Pal tool will advance alongside the fleet to better serve future drivers. “As we continue to improve Driver Pal, we expect to improve the driver experience more and more on AWS,” says Hilse. “We’re at the forefront of an automotive revolution now, and AWS will continue to be a major part of this journey.”
IVECO, a brand of CNH Industrial, designs, manufactures, and markets a range of light-, medium-, and heavy-duty commercial vehicles for multiple industries. IVECO sells and supports its vehicles in over 160 countries.
Benefits of AWS
- Reduces distracted driving through voice-activated technology
- Translates messages into drivers’ native languages
- Enables drivers to exchange information about relevant events
- Provides health and maintenance information for trucks
- Manages all cab control functions, such as lights, climate control, and media
- Enables access to personalized tips to help drivers improve safety and fuel efficiency
- Provides near-real-time information such as weather and traffic reports
AWS Services Used
Amazon Translate is a neural machine translation service that delivers fast, high-quality, affordable, and customizable language translation.
Amazon Comprehend is a natural-language processing (NLP) service that uses machine learning to uncover information in unstructured data.
AWS Lambda is a serverless compute service that lets you run code without provisioning or managing servers, creating workload-aware cluster scaling logic, maintaining event integrations, or managing runtimes.
AWS Professional Services
The AWS Professional Services organization is a global team of experts that can help you realize your desired business outcomes when using the AWS Cloud.
Organizations of all sizes across all industries are transforming their businesses and delivering on their missions every day using AWS. Contact our experts and start your own AWS journey today.