Top Technology Trends Affecting the Trucking Industry 

Strong Tie Insurance December 17, 2019 Commercial Truck Insurance

There’s a lot of change occurring in the trucking industry, especially when it comes to technology. Examples include robotics, artificial intelligence, and autonomous vehicles, among others. It’s vital that you keep up with recent developments and determine when these advances will affect the future of the industry. These trends may also affect your commercial truck insurance in a positive way, so paying attention will be crucial.

Technology can be great, or it can be detrimental. Companies don’t want to utilize it too soon because it can cause them to overpay or be a test subject for unproven technology. However, if you wait too long to take advantage of the opportunities, you give your competitors the chance to get ahead. 

Technological Trends in the Trucking Industry

Robotic Process Automation

This type of automation can completely eliminate repetitive manual processes. Employee time is often consumed by minor administrative tasks that must be done every single day. However, when you add automation into the mix, you can increase productivity and improve your overall business.

When you free up employees’ time doing paperwork, they can focus on more complex tasks that improve the business as a whole. Within the next few years, take a look at adopting this automation to change the way you do business every single day.

Read More: Strategies To Reduce the Trucking Cost for Your Fleet

Artificial Intelligence and Decision Making

A.I. will come into play when it comes to big data analytics. Algorithms will improve the analytics and allow for a faster decision-making process when compared to a human doing all the grunt work. This means that you can reduce logistic costs as employees can focus less on sorting through big data and more on using it to make decisions that improve the business structure.

Big data and an efficient delivery should be one of the most important aspects of any trucking business. Exact information and data analysis can completely revolutionize the supply chain.

However, in order to use data efficiently and effectively, you’ll need to ensure that the data itself is reliable. With the use of A.I., you can enrich your existing data and get new data that can have a major impact on your business.

You’ll now be able to forecast outlooks for certain situations, which can optimize productivity and efficiency. 

Autonomous Trucks

While fully-autonomous trucks are still way in the future, we will see an adoption of new automation technologies. These technologies include things like collision mitigation and lane departure warning systems. The transition to autonomous trucks will not happen overnight, but we are seeing more advanced technology coming out all the time. While a driverless truck is not something we expect to see anytime soon, automated processes can help keep drivers and their cargo safe.

Though trucks have not yet reached full automation, they are able to stay at consistent speeds and maintain a safe distance from other vehicles on their own.

Read More: Driverless Trucks: What Trucking Companies Need to Know 

Platooning

With more advanced trucks, you can expect to see more precise driving. With improved driving systems, trucking rigs can arrange into formations controlled by computers. The computers communicate with each other and follow closely behind the other trucks within the fleet.

All of this is thanks to telematics, which is the process of sending, receiving, and storing information via telecommunication devices. These devices control remote objects, like trucks. In the end, there will be a long line of trucks heading in the same direction, essentially in a line.

This method is called platooning, and it’s a huge cost-saver. Trucking companies will use less fuel and create fewer emissions. All of the trucks in the line combat wind resistance and traffic congestion. Not to mention, it’s also a safety feature because it creates a predictable line of trucks.

IoT

The Internet of Things, or IoT, is having a significant impact on trucking. It allows trucks to have better location tracking, environment sensing, and fleet management.

With a network of devices sharing data, networks of sensors mounted through the truck can monitor everything necessary to get the job done. From tire pressure to load stability, IoT can make truck driving and maintenance easier. Autonomous and platooned trucking systems will generate even more data to help businesses manage and make more informed decisions.

The exchange of data can improve supply chain management while minimizing the amount of human intervention necessary for the job.

What About Humans?

With all of the information we’ve just discussed, it’s only natural to ask what role humans will play in the future of the trucking industry. All of the technology can make you forget about the human element of trucking, the drivers. The human behind the wheel ensures cargo arrives safely and securely. While technology continues to improve and change the trucking industry, humans will continue to play their part, but it may have to change along with the industry itself.

Many people fear that automation means the end of trucking jobs. However, the industry itself has another idea about the future of the trucking industry job market after self-driving trucks are further demonstrated. Some experts believe that there will be an increase in jobs are more self-driving, and autonomous trucks are introduced.

As of right now, we’re in a shortage of qualified truck drivers. However, for those who enter the industry and those who are veteran truck drivers, they can expect their jobs to get easier and safer.

As these trends continue to evolve, it’s important that your trucking business takes advantage of features that can improve overall business structure. Stay up-to-date on developments in these areas and determine when the right time to take advantage of them is for you.