In a recent article in Fleet Owner magazine, Kevin Jones highlighted emerging technologies that domestic and global transport systems should be keeping an eye on in the next three to five years. That includes U.S. trucking industry executives. His article cites a report by Volpe, the DOT’s National Transportation Systems Center.
We’ve picked the top four technologies from that article that could impact the U.S. trucking industry most. Writes Jones, “most of these will find their way into—or become a replacement for—trucks and trucking.”
The Internet of Things
IoT means connected vehicles and smart infrastructure, such as bridge sensors that detect icing and alert approaching vehicles. For drivers, IoT means wearable sensors combining GPS data with physiological data. In addition, potential benefits include monitoring alertness and physiological conditions, particularly regarding fatigue detection.
Advanced analytics and machine learning
“Big data analysis has the potential to spur productivity, growth, and innovation, as long as the right policies and enablers are in place.” (Emphasis added.) Overall, thinking positively, this means real-time traffic analysis across much wider systems, and much better traffic forecasts and predictive routing.
We’ve already seen how combining various Level 2 systems leads to a Level 3 autonomous truck. In addition, or in which the driver can hand over control for limited intervals in certain conditions.
On-demand ride services (transportation network companies)
In addition, Taxi alternatives get the buzz, but the same technology is increasingly being used by companies looking for a piece of the logistics pie,” Jones writes. “Freight brokerage firms are using these platforms to match shipments with drivers,” the Volpe report points out. “With over 20 billion miles per year driven by empty trucks in the United States, matching shipments to drivers could dramatically improve efficiency.”
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