Artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles, and voice-activated technology within the trucking industry are changing driving behaviors and increasing efficiency and safety.
Advanced Trucking Technologies
Over the past few years, the trucking industry has implemented several advanced vehicle technologies that promote trucking efficiency and safety. The American Trucking Association is working to implement new advanced technologies that will create positive changes for commercial truck drivers.
Augmented reality (AR) is used within the trucking industry to increase driver safety. Truck drivers can now access information that lets them plan and organize their driving actions. One new AR technology allows commercial truck drivers to see what’s ahead on the road, so dangers can be avoided. Before approaching a traffic area, passing a car, or making a wide turn, the driver will already know about potential accident threats.
Self-driving trucks are already on the road in some areas. Truck platooning technology has developed an automated system that allows two or more trucks to link together while traveling in a convoy. The lead truck has the main control of driving, while following trucks adapt to movement through autonomous features. When the convoy maintains a close range, following drivers are not required to control the wheel unless they need to depart from the platoon or drive independently.
Last year, Tesla unveiled an all-electric semi-tractor trailer and Anheuser-Busch placed an order for 800 hydrogen-electric trucks. Manufacturers including Meritor and Cummins have invested in EV technology with Daimler and Volvo to get more electric trucks on the road by 2025. However, trucking officials predict that most fleets will include a mixture of gasoline, hybrid, and electric trucks through 2050.
Voice Activated Systems
Recent advances in voice-activated systems like Alexa and Siri have created interest within the trucking industry. In 2019, I.D. Systems introduced an integrated voice-activated system called “Lucy” that allows drivers to access a fleet’s cargo and asset database. Old technology requires users to manually access reports, while new voice-activated systems let users access detailed, real-time transit and status reports on cargo pickups and deliveries and drive-time.
Telematics allow trucking companies to collect data on their drivers’ behaviors and safety practices. Large commercial trucks fully loaded with cargo often cause fatal crashes seen by truck crash lawyers due to their weight and size. Through telematics, companies can check drivers for speeding, improper braking, and other dangerous driving behaviors that cause fatal accidents.