If there is one field of business that could leverage the benefits of technology, it is in the world of trucking and fleet vehicle management. This often underappreciated aspect of the transportation business is too important to leave untouched by new technologies which has dramatically changed other industries.
But things are quietly changing. There has been a paradigm shift in fleet vehicle management, and it has brought some revolutionary changes in trucking. Here are some of the big changes happening now.
Driverless Autonomous Trucks
The idea of driverless vehicles is no longer new. In fact, it has crept into many new cars as advanced features to help take the driving load off drivers. The biggest advances in driverless technology, however, will occur in the trucking industry.
This is because many trucking companies have seen a decline in qualified drivers through the years. Friction between drivers and operators over driving conditions and regulations on stringent drug testing has led to a shortage and companies are turning to autonomous vehicles as a possible solution for this fleet vehicle management problem.
Companies such as Mercedes Benz have already introduced prototypes for testing on the road. There is the issue of acceptance as most people feel uncomfortable sharing the road with these robotic trucks but as more and more of these vehicles are rolled out, acceptance should grow in time.
Big brother will now be watching more intently than ever. There are new devices that can monitor both the trucks and the drivers to ensure their safety and compliance on the road.
Despite its seemingly ominous reputation, surveillance technologies can help streamline trucking operations and make sure that everything runs smoothly and that any potential problems can be dealt with swiftly and accurately.
One example is the fleet management platform called Track Your Truck that offers GPS devices to trucking companies for installation on their trucks.
This technology goes beyond mere GPS tracking. It notifies the fleet vehicle manager if a driver is braking too hard or too frequently, or if a driver is taking turns too sharply, for example. It can also track whether the driver is speeding, which can help reduce fuel costs.
Another tool is development is the COGNALYZER by Zentrela. Still in development, it is an EEG test for driver alertness and possible drug impairment.
Many trucking and fleet operators use antiquated computers and systems, so having a more efficient fleet vehicle management solution in the cloud for them to use has been nothing short of revolutionary. Now, even small and medium scale industries can have the latest in fleet management software without having to spend for new and expensive equipment.
This has become possible because of the idea of Software-As-A-Service (SAAS). All the operator needs is access to the internet and a paid subscription to the service which is a more affordable solution than investing in new equipment and customized software.
These cloud-based solutions can assist with common tasks such as scheduling, fleet vehicle maintenance, IFTA compliance, route planning, and load optimization.
Uber of Trucking
The concept of ride sharing as introduced by Uber has changed the way people get around. In the trucking world, the concept now extends into space sharing.
Apps such as Cargomatic, Convoy, and Transfix help connect shippers with carriers who have available space in their trucks to haul additional loads, eliminating the need for middlemen freight brokers and reducing the number of “empty miles” a trucker drives.
See Thru Semis
One of the difficulties for average drivers when trailing a semi truck is that their view of the road ahead in significantly impaired because of the large trailers that semis haul. Samsung has introduced a possible solution for this problem.
The Korean company has installed a giant screen on the back of the truck which displays the view from the front of the truck, thus giving drivers a safer view of any hazards ahead.
Although this is still a proof-of-concept, it can theoretically be retrofitted to almost any truck should there be widespread acceptance for this technology.
Trucker Specific Maps
Google Maps has been a boon for many drivers, but it is far too simplistic for the needs of truckers. Truck drivers need mission-critical information such as up-to-date gas prices, real-time road conditions and locations of nearby truck stops and weigh stations.
Fortunately, apps such as Trucker Path Pro have been developed to provide all this information for the trucker to make his journey a safe and productive one.
Do you need customized work trucks? Contact us at 1-877-479-1388 or email Steve Gruber at firstname.lastname@example.org for your car, truck or fleet rental and no-term leasing needs. We have locations in Hamilton, Selkirk & Niagara and service all of Ontario through our partner network. With a fleet of over 1000 vehicles and growing, Thomas Solutions has a wide array of work vehicles for lease or rent, and an expert team that provides fleet vehicle management services for large industrial firms.