- Voice Command
- Collision Mitigation
- Hands-Free Listening
- Route Optimization
- More Efficient Dispatch
- Increased Security
- Gps Fleet Tracking
- The Bottom Line
Trucks play a vital role in transporting goods across the country. In addition, they are responsible for transporting food and cargo from place to place, ensuring that goods reach their destination.
Most importantly, they keep our population well stocked with all our essential and non-essential needs.
Truck drivers are increasingly turning to electronic logging devices (ELD), global positioning tracking systems, mobile applications, and other technologies to help make their jobs easier.
We'll go over eight ways that technology is being used to help optimize how truck drivers live and work on the front lines of the shipping and trucking industry.
1. Voice command
Trucking companies are starting to implement voice command technology into their fleets. This helps truck drivers operate their vehicles without stopping and interacting with computers.
Drivers connect their smartphones to a unique device called a "voice box." Then, they say certain words and phrases to tell the vehicle what they want it to do. For example, you could say "open window," "close window," "turn left," or "drive straight."
Truckers don't have to take their eyes off the road to perform basic tasks. They speak out loud and let the truck do the rest.
Many trucking companies are already offering voice command technology to their drivers.
There are several ways to back up a truck. Some drivers use a manual backup system. Others use automatic methods like those found on most newer vehicles. Still, others use GPS technology.
For example, one trucker may use a device called Navigator Pro. It works with the truck's onboard computer and tells the driver exactly where to go to back up.
"The truck automatically goes backwards," says Dan O'Brien, vice president of product development for Navigator Pro. "So you just sit back and relax."
3. Collision mitigation
A collision involving a big rig can cause severe injury or death. Unfortunately, truck accidents happen daily across North America, and many involve large commercial vehicles.
In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 2 million trucking accidents were reported in 2016 alone.
The good news is that technology exists to prevent some of these accidents.
For example, GPS systems allow truckers to know their location in real-time, while radar, cameras, and sensors warn drivers of potential dangers.
However, it is still possible for a driver to become distracted and miss something important.
4. Hands-free listening
Cell phones are distracting drivers, whether they're held or used hands-free.
A study published in Transportation Research Part F found that drivers talking on a cell phone increased crash risk by nearly 50%.
And it doesn't matter how often you've been told not to hold the phone while driving; the distraction still occurs.
Nowadays, most trucks have built-in Wi-Fi hotspots and Bluetooth, which allow drivers to connect to their smartphones and tablets without needing to stop along the highway or let go of the steering wheel.
They can check emails, read news stories, listen to music, and even take calls.
But there are some limitations. For example, truckers can't text or call, even if the cell phone is set to "hands-free." They also can't listen to music unless they turn off the radio.
5. Route optimization
GPS routes are based on several factors -including the type of vehicle, the number of stops, the distance between each stop, and expected travel time.
Route optimization allows companies to reduce delivery costs and improve productivity.
Mobile apps are available for truck drivers, from keeping them updated about weather conditions to finding gas stations along their route and even roadside assistance.
Using GPS and mobile apps in conjunction will allow drivers to have many different ways to optimize routes; based on time of day, the weather, and distance.
6. More efficient dispatch
With fleet management software, you can track your vehicles and drivers across multiple platforms, including mobile apps, web portals, and cloud-based systems.
You can even integrate your data into your enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to gain real-time visibility into your entire operation. This information provides you with insights into how your team members are performing, allowing you to make adjustments where necessary.
You can monitor your vehicle locations, speed, route history, fuel consumption, and more.
Fleet management software can alert you when a vehicle deviates from its designated route or if it exceeds a certain mileage threshold.
By integrating your fleet management software with your ERP system, you can receive alerts about potential issues such as mechanical breakdowns or fuel shortages.
By providing trucking companies with accurate information, fleet management software can help you streamline processes, reduce costs, and provide better customer service.
7. Increased security
GPS tracking is beneficial to both drivers and businesses. Drivers can use it to monitor their routes and make sure they follow proper procedures while on the road. Businesses can use it to track down lost items and prevent theft.
With increased security, there are many benefits for consumers, including fewer delays or missing packages.
In addition, technology such as transport management systems (TMS) software provides the opportunity to implement a comprehensive safety program.
Many systems include tools that allow fleet managers to set up alerts based on specific parameters. If something goes wrong, they can quickly dispatch assistance.
Some systems also provide access to live video feeds that allow dispatchers to check on drivers' well-being.
8. GPS fleet tracking
The use of GPS fleet tracking technology is becoming increasingly popular among businesses across industries.
This type of technology offers many benefits, including increased productivity, improved customer experience, and reduced costs.
According to a study conducted by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, there are over 2 million commercial vehicles operating in the United States today.
Unfortunately, most of these vehicles are not being tracked properly. In fact, according to one estimate, 80% of all large trucks are not tracked at all.
If you think about it, this is pretty crazy. Why wouldn't a company want to track every vehicle in its fleet? Wouldn't it help them manage their operations better?
In addition to helping companies save money, improve efficiency, and increase profits, GPS fleet tracking also improves driver safety.
A recent survey found that nearly 40% of trucking accidents could have been avoided if the driver had known his exact location. When drivers know exactly where they are, they can take appropriate actions to prevent dangerous situations.
The Bottom Line
If you work long hours, as we often do behind the wheel, you should know that technology has made a massive difference in helping the industry stay safe and productive.
Whether it's GPS systems, cell phones, or even apps like Waze, technology has revolutionized the trucking industry.
And because many truckers use their devices to navigate, they can also avoid dangerous situations before they happen. Technology makes driving safer, easier, and more enjoyable than ever before.
However, people must learn how to implement technology only to assist, and not rely on, in every situation. Sometimes technology has hiccups just like humans do. So decent judgment is required to apply technology to where it can help.
At A-1 Auto Transport, we combine technology with our fleet of professional drivers to deliver your shipments efficiently and safely.