Technology is present and growing in practically every occupational field, including trucking. Failure to get on board with new technology can halt and negatively affect a company’s success and production. In a field where there’s a huge demand, but shortage of drivers, the trucking industry can and will benefit from new and upcoming technology as long everyone gets on board.
Issues in Trucking: Will Technology Fix Them?
One of the biggest issues that the trucking industry is currently facing is a shortage of drivers. A main reason for the shortage is lack of job security. On average, truck drivers change their jobs a little under 10 time during a 30-year career and is often unemployed for a duration of four months after a layoff.
Another reason that a driver shortage exists is because it’s a harder occupation than many people initially think. On the surface, trucking might look pretty easy and laid back, but in reality there are numerous stressors that go along with long haul trucking, including tight deadlines, driving in all kinds of weather, time away from family and friends, incidence of injury, and risks of accidents. In fact, a majority of accidents involving a semi-truck is due to a driver being hurried or trying to make a deadline. Additionally, according to David W. Craig, Indiana truck accident lawyer, a number of accidents involving a large truck can also be attributed to issues with the truck and driver inexperience.
Far too often, drivers go through quick training and are put on the road before they know how to handle all potential road scenarios. A combination of inexperience, stressors, distance, and not realizing the work involved have keep a lot of would-be truckers off the road.
Technology Solutions for Driver Shortage
There are two major technology solutions that may be hitting the trucking industry in the near future, hoping to fix the driver shortage. One of the major changes being made in the industry is advanced computer systems and data analysis, which are used in trucks as well as trucking firms. With newer technology taking over and getting rid of old paper logs (and virtually no other technology), freight can be rerouted based on traffic patterns and mileage can be tracked more accurately making the whole process more efficient.
While this technology may temporarily ease the pressure of a driver shortage by making existing drivers more efficient, many trucking companies are hoping to draw in a more tech-savvy and younger demographic and possibly giving the trucking industry a new and revitalized reputation.
What About Autonomous Trucks?
There’s a lot of buzz about smaller autonomous vehicles, but the trucking industry is also looking into autonomous trucks to help with the shortage of drivers. Can we expect a bunch of driverless semis barreling down the highway? No, a majority of the autonomous trucks will level 3 autonomous, which means that drivers can take control at any time. While such technology may not hit the roads for a couple more decades, the technology alone could draw a new generation of drivers who may be interested in the field.