The way we get around, from point A to point B, has always been evolving. In today’s world you can click a couple buttons on your phone and you’ve hailed a ride-share, like with Uber or Lyft, or you’ve decided to opt for a semi-autonomous car instead of a traditional one. Tech trends in the transportation industry are developing faster and becoming our new habit, and that has spilled over into our trucking industry.
More innovation and technology is helping to streamline the shipping process, including cutting down on time and saving money. Trucking companies are even partnering with tech companies to develop self-driving abilities for their big rigs. The ongoing and future transformation in the trucking industry is looking to not only benefit the carriers and truckers but also positively impact the economy at large.
Here are a few technology trends that are moving the trucking industry forward.
Trucks without human drivers may sound either like a dream or a nightmare, but they are becoming a reality. In fact, Daimler has already tested a semi-autonomous truck and has been greenlit to operate in Nevada, Uber has partnered with Budweiser to have trial runs of beer shipments across the country, and Tesla is even getting in on the tech trend, having made a partnership with UPS to provide a fleet of self-driving big rigs.
Semi-autonomous trucks will be combined with platooning technology to reduce fuel costs and cut down on time spent hauling shipments. The latter technology focuses on monitoring a number of trucks at the same time that have vehicle-to-vehicle communication software installed. Think of it as a group of dolphins communicating to each other. The big goals for self-driving technology and platooning in the trucking industry is to do away with accidents caused by driver fatigue, distractions or other emotions, as well as cut down on CO2 emissions.
Telematics and GPS Fleet Tracking
This kind of technology refers to the integration of telecommunications with information and communications tech down to a single unit. This in turn receives, sends and stores info relating to trucking. A telematics system integrates GPS technology, computers, and mobile devices–all three are already changing how trucking routes are mapped out.
The GPS system being installed into trucks enhances efficient monitoring of the location and movement of every vehicle in the fleet. What’s more, this kind of technology can even monitor speeds and when a truck starts up and shuts down.
The point of this kind of technology integration is meant to help supervisors with costs and scheduling. This real-time information can help improve customer service, increase productivity, and increase the security of the entire fleet.
Trucks are now required to have an ELD (electronic logging device) which is supposed to create a more safe and compliant working environment for drivers. An ELD can monitor hours of service for each driver and feature electronic logbooks and compliance reporting. All this info is downloaded and audited automatically. The goal for using this technology is to reduce time and costs associated with fleet management, and also reports real-time thefts, violations or accidents.
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