We all are experiencing the inevitable advance of technology and how it is changing the way we live. Our lives are forever being altered by these innovations. Consider, for a moment, how hard it would be to give up our smartphones! Smart solutions, the integration of connected products and systems, advanced analytics, and direct services are being customized to solve both the mundane and difficult challenges of life.
In the logistics field, technology is revolutionizing how trucking companies deliver. And, it promises to not only save time but also lives and money in the process. Several technologies and innovation trends are in various stages of development for the trucking industry. Here is a quick overview of some:
It is an idea that would have been inconceivable just twenty years ago – driver-less trucks on our roads powered by electricity.
But the idea is now a reality and it is poised to forever change the trucking industry. Tesla, Daimler, and Volkswagen are all developing and testing autonomous electric trucks. With a goal of complete autonomy, innovations include autonomous lane-assist and assisted braking features. They offer the promise of fewer breakdowns, repairs, and accidents. Autonomous trucks are expected to save lives, time and money.
Precise driving will be possible as computers intricately control the movement of several trucks in close formation (platooning) as they travel on the road. Movements of each truck will be meticulously controlled as they form a long line of trucks heading in the same direction. This formation will combat wind resistance and traffic congestion.
IoT (acting as the communication brain)
The internet of things (IoT) will serve to network all the trucks together, using shared data. Sensors mounted throughout each truck will monitor everything from tire pressure to load stability. IoT will revolutionize supply chain management, supplying shippers with real-time information about the location and condition of critical freight in transit.
Big Data (pairing with AI to better forecast shipping volumes)
Big data will be paired with AI (Artificial Intelligence) to allow companies to forecast highly accurate outlooks for shipping volumes and to be proactive in optimizing future performance of similar volumes.
Human drivers (they will still be needed, maybe even more!)
Contrary to fears that implementation of automation will result in less need for truck drivers, another reality is forming. There may actually be an increase in trucking jobs as more self-driving vehicles are introduced. The vision for autonomous trucks is that they will be used to drive the highway miles between “transfer hubs” only. Human drivers will take over the last miles that require navigation through complex urban and industrial terrain.
At DriverSource, we are excited about the future of new technologies in our industry. We will continue to partner with top trucking companies in the private fleet, third-party logistics, and “for-hire” sectors in filling positions where drivers can take advantage of these innovations.
Bill D for DriverSource