The United States' freight transport figures are increasing with each passing year. It is estimated the country's freight transport will surpass the 20 billion ton mark within the next decade. The smart transportation market stands to benefit from this trend as there is a growing interest and need for smart fleet management that functions with public safety in mind while ramping up efficiency.
The Rise of Smart Transportation
Smart transportation is expected to expand threefold in the five-year span between 2016 and 2021. Commercial vehicles will likely be the largest component of the fleet management market. The expansion in this segment is partially attributable to the spike in smartphone integration with trucks and other vehicles, along with the monitoring of driver behavior and even tech integration with fuel efficiency. Advancements in AI will be necessary to capture and interpret the abundance of data surely to result from the hike in demand for intelligent transportation. However, vehicles must be programmed to make sense of driver behavior rather than traditional AI that is guided by data.
Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs)
The United States government now mandates that truck drivers equip their big rigs with electronic logging devices. The purpose of ELDs is to keep track of each truck driver's drive time and guarantee they comply with the government's cap on daily driving. At the moment, the federal government limits trucker drive time to 11 hours per day. However, the American Trucking Association reports less than half of surveyed fleets have complied with this new law or are in the midst of complying with it.
Autonomous Trucks are the Wave of the Future
Autonomous trucks will likely line the highways within half a decade or less. This is not to say every single truck will be driven by a computer. It is possible a human being will head a lead truck with a connected convoy of trucks in the rear. Regardless of the details of how autonomous trucks shape out, this advancement in technology is sure to decrease fuel costs and empower trucking companies to haul that many more goods in a cost-efficient manner.
The forementioned ELDs used in smart fleet management will help track driver and truck activity. It will soon be possible to connect big rigs to logistics information throughout the entirety of the supply chain. Telematics will empower transportation businesses to track and gauge the location of trucks, freight pressure/temperature and even the fatigue of drivers. This is all possible, thanks to analytics on the cloud!
Telematics also facilitates freight matching to boot. Sensors on truck trailers will gauge the amount of space and weight available on the truck along with route options and the estimated time of arrival. All of this data will be crunched in mere seconds to ensure loads are hauled in the most affordable and efficient manner possible.
Smart fleet management is just one of many smart technologies that will dramatically alter the landscape of cargo hauling in the near future.