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Fintechs working on fuel efficiency

by Alexandra Cain | 16 Apr 2019
Trucking behemoth Linfox’s fuel costs could be drastically reduced thanks to an interesting initiative being driven by the fintech sector.

Melbourne-based tech and innovation hub YBF Ventures has joined forces with Linfox to find ways to reduce environmental emissions across the fleet by optimising fuel consumption.

Fuel is one of biggest costs for any supply chain business and increasing fuel efficiencies is one way to cap this expense. Linfox also wants to reduce its environmental impacts and is investing heavily in renewable energy, supply chain optimisation and landfill reduction strategies to make good on this commitment. 

So in May, they are jointly hosting a ‘FuelHack’ event, which will give participants 28 hours to come up with solutions to the challenges Linfox tries to resolve every day. These include  route optimisation, fuel-price tracking, driver behaviour monitoring and the use of telemetry for fuel economy.

YBF chief of staff Jason Lim says the start-up and fintech hub and Linfox have been exploring ways to work together for some time.

“Linfox is keen to explore how it can work with start-ups and fintechs to access new technologies such as machine learning and artificial intelligence. Linfox is interested in figuring out how it can be at the forefront of innovation in this area. Even small changes can result in significant savings in costs and emissions. So we wanted to bring a lot of bright minds into a room together to work on this,” he says.

Lim says they have already received many applications from students, as well as start-ups working with machine learning and artificial intelligence. Businesses that are already working on route optimising technologies have also applied. 

“FuelHack is open to anyone with a great idea about fuel optimisation and we’re really open to new ideas,” he says.

Commenting on the initiative in a statement, Linfox chief technology officer Nick Delijia said, “Linfox has been at the forefront of supply chain management and logistics for more than 60 years. [We] look forward to working with YBF Ventures to find stand-out technological solutions to optimise our fuel use. We can’t wait to see what the hackathon teams come up with.”

The winner will have to meet four criteria. They will be measured on the degree of innovation involved in their solution. The judges are looking for disruptive and out-of-the box ideas that are not already being used in the market. Each team will also be judged on the potential benefits their solution will deliver. The judges are looking for high-impact ideas that solve a real problem.

The winner will also need to demonstrate their idea can be easily implemented. This means it must be simple to roll out across Linfox’s fleet. Finally, the idea must have a high probability of success. 

Linfox chief financial officer Michael Pickard and chief information officer Conrad Harvey will be involved in coaching and judging teams that have entered the competition. 
The winning team will receive $8,000 and the runner-up will receive $2,000 cash. Both winners will also have an opportunity to become members of YBF Ventures, which is based in Melbourne.

For more information and to apply, go to the FuelHack website.

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