The future of trucking [Infographic]
By: Phil Sneed
Trucking has long been the backbone to the American economy. Delivering goods from one destination to another requires the delicate planning of logistics management companies and the execution by dedicated truck drivers. The industry has already gone through numerous changes, from logistics management to new drivers. However, one piece of equipment has remained constant: the truck.
This doesn’t mean technology has not been implemented in trucks. In fact, 50 years from now, trucks may operate differently, but their primary function will remain the same.
Trucks will soon be equipped with wireless technology that will accomplish many tasks. For instance, it’s not too far-fetched to think that dispatchers will keep an even closer eye on their trucks, therefore eliminating potential roadside breakdowns and other preventable equipment failures.
Additionally, this type of wireless communication, known as vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure, can help trucks and drivers avoid roadside dangers.
Keeping drivers safe
Truckers are dedicated and work hard to ensure they make deliveries on schedule. However, the nature of the job is demanding and often takes a physical toll on the body – long stretches of driving on an interstate will make just about anyone tired. There may be a future in which seats are embedded with medical technology that will detect if a driver is tired and needs some rest, or if they’re having an emergency medical situation.
Logistics companies can also monitor the status of drivers by implementing electronic logging devices to ensure truckers don’t break regulations. Video recorders can also be used to go back and see how a trucker is driving and if they need to make any corrections.
New trucking methods
The future of trucking can’t be discussed without the possibility of autonomous trucks. Driverless trucks may still be a few years away, but potential benefits include reduced costs and keeping drivers out of harm’s way.
Until then, some trucks are being outfitted with wireless tech that enables semi-trailers to communicate with each other in a system known as platooning. Essentially, these sensors will automatically detect when trucks can travel close to each other in a straight line. By utilizing air gaps, trucks traveling on the interstate at speeds of 65 mph may reduce fuel consumption by 7 percent.
The advancement of technology has already improved trucking and will continue to do so in the coming years.