Technologies That Are Changing the Trucking Industry
Category: Product Support
Trucking keeps the economy moving and delivers goods to every corner of the country. To combat increasing trucking costs and competition from rail, air and sea transportation, the trucking industry is taking advantage of advanced technology to improve every aspect of the business. It is an exciting time to be in the trucking industry and watch as the pace of technological advances speeds up.
Here at NMC Truck Centers, we closely follow industry trends and innovations. We know that it’s important for us to anticipate coming technologies and equip ourselves to service and maintain your equipment. Already today we are using advanced diagnostic tools and applications to plan service and maintenance and help optimize your scheduling and downtime.
Learn about these current and upcoming technology improvements that will continue to change the way you run your trucking business:
- Powertrain: Advanced new powertrains promise to have a major impact on the cost of shipping goods around the country. Engines are being downsized for less weight and better efficiency. Turbocharging is being improved to deliver big power for acceleration as well as reduced fuel consumption out on the highway. Hybrid and electric powertrains are also being tested and will continue to permeate the industry, as well as more efficient starters and alternators.
- Aerodynamics: There is a reason airplanes are pointy and not squared off. As speed increases, wind resistance climbs dramatically. Improved truck and trailer aerodynamics will continue to add fuel efficiency to transport trucks. Watch for additional aerodynamic technologies such as active louvers, wheel covers and underbody shielding to improve over the next few years as manufacturers look to eke out additional fuel mileage gains, even as retrofit parts on existing fleets.
- Safety: Added safety and security features can help reduce or even eliminate accidents. Lowering accidents is a positive for truckers, trucking companies and the general public. Fewer accidents can also help lower insurance rates and truck repair costs. Advances in braking, collision avoidance, lane departure warnings and trucker fatigue alarms are making driving a truck safer than ever and will continue to inspire confidence in our industry.
- Telematics: Just as the advent of GPS helped make great improvements in the trucking industry over two decades ago, new telematics technologies are promising to rewrite the book again. Watch for vehicle-to-vehicle communication systems, route planning applications, platooning software and other scheduling systems to enable smarter, safer and more efficient trucking and transportation. While each manufacturer is working on their own systems right now, we expect the industry to converge over the next few years.
- Software and onboard diagnostics: The medical industry is seeing a big push towards ‘chipped’ pills and implants to track patient condition in real-time, and the trucking industry is following suit. You will soon see embedded diagnostics incorporated into engine, transmission and other vehicle management systems so that performance, efficiency and service life can be tracked at all times. This will help schedule service and maintenance and avoid costly breakdowns.
- Driver comfort: Studies have proven that a comfortable driver is less likely to suffer the effects of highway fatigue and is more alert. Technology is being used to improve the comfort of drivers in their trucks and ensure they can make it safe to their destination. Seats with reduced pressure points, improved steering and control ergonomics and augmented communications and information systems are being released and promise to make driving a truck a more pleasant experience.
- Trucking strategies: Smarter use of trucks to avoid empty return trips and driving in platoons are simple concepts that are getting a big boost from modern technology. New applications allow trucking companies to take on shipments to avoid running empty trucks and to group trucks from the same fleet or even different companies for efficient platooning and convoy runs. Real-time truck location information can be relayed back to a command center or directly to other trucks for fast and easy planning.
- Autonomous trucking: We hear a lot about autonomous passenger cars being tested, but we’ve learned that many truck manufacturers are also testing autonomous technologies for transport trucks. It’s only a matter of time before completely driverless trucks roll out in a big way. There may be many bugs to work out, but before long we wouldn’t be surprised to see autonomous trucks sharing the road with the rest of us. Handled properly, this can be a big boon to the industry and co-exist with traditional professional drivers.
These are some of the technologies that are making the biggest waves in the trucking industry. Progress can’t be stopped, so here at NMC Truck Centers, we aim to be proactive and encourage intelligent and thoughtful implementation of new trucking technologies.
The improvements in efficiency, performance, safety, scheduling and reliability will help trucking remain competitive on the national and global scene, so we look forward to the exciting changes and improvements technology will bring to our industry. Contact us if you have any questions or would like information on all the services we can provide your trucking business.