Remember a few weeks back when I wrote that IBM was starting to look a whole lot more like a green tech company than an IT company? Well, its latest product and service in the sustainability space is a solution for reducing energy use across the transportion industry as the result of a collaboration with Japanese sensor company Omron.
The two have integrated Omron's sensors, which are applied to traffic control, vehicle weight measurement and so on, with IBM's Virtual Routing Planner and Modal-Shift Transportation Planner software. The Modal-Shift application uses timetables, delivery date consideration and energy costs to determine what mode of transportation makes most "green" sense for reducing costs AND cutting carbon dioxide emissions. The Virtual Routing Planner helps truckers plot out the best routes to use to keep emissions at a minimum.
The initial focus for the collaborative service will be on transportation and manufacturing companies in Japan, mainly because these two industries apparently account for more than half of the energy use related to supply chain considerations such as these.
Another indication of why IT sorts really need to start thinking about how information technology can be used outside the traditional walls of a corporation.