How is New Technology Revolutionizing the Professional Driving Sector?

By  |  0 Comments

The electric vehicle industry has shown the extent to which new technologies are changing the face of driving, and when it comes to the commercial vehicle industry, they are also being relied upon by top companies to attract millennials to their teams. The Central Oregon Truck Company, for instance, hopes that 70% of its driving team will comprise millennials over the next decade, owing in no small part to what they perceive as ‘greater adaptability to new technologies’ on the part of younger drivers. In this post, we highlight just a few technologies that are (or soon will be) making life easier, safer, and more efficient for truck drivers young and old alike.

Professional Driving

Virtual Trainers in Cabins

Fuel efficiency and safety depend on drivers employing the most efficient driving behaviors possible. Vnomics True Fuel is a comprehensive analytics web portal that provides real time driver coaching, enabling them to take immediate steps to improve fuel efficiency. The technology scores each driver’s performance, analysing moments during which they wasted fuel. The data obtained tells companies which drivers need more training, which behaviours waste the most fuel, and how new technological additions (e.g. automatic transmissions) could impact fuel efficiency.

New Safety Systems

An AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety Study has found that several cutting edge technologies can significantly reduce the likelihood of road accidents, thus making commercial driving safer and helping companies make significant coverage savings. The ideal blend of safety technologies includes air disc brakes (which reduce the distance covered when the brakes are hit), automatic braking systems (which apply the brakes if for any reason the driver does not respond to warnings about an upcoming collision), lane departure systems (which alert drivers if they drift into another lane) and video based safety monitoring systems (cameras, sensors and other equipment that records a driver’s behavior, to tell whether or not there has been reckless driving, inefficient use of fuel, illegal use of phones and other gadgets while driving, etc).

Forward Facing Cameras

Large vans and trucks can pose accident risks because they limit visibility for drivers immediately behind them. Forward facing cameras are not new per se; for many years now, they have been used to provide commercial vehicle companies with recorded footage of critical events that protect them against ‘crash for cash’ fraud. Elon Musk has taken forward facing cameras a step further in his new Tesla Truck. The latter has forward facing cameras but also a screen in the back, which displays the road ahead to vehicles behind the truck. This can significantly lower the likelihood of accidents caused by a lack of visibility, especially in one-way roads, where vehicles behind the truck cannot simply change lanes if they desire better visibility.

Electric Commercial Vehicles

There has been intense pressure to cut exhaust emissions across busy states like California, and battery operated commercial vehicles can go a long way towards achieving this goal. Thor Trucks is a young Los Angeles startup that has already showed the press its battery-powered Class-8 commercial rig (which affords 50 miles of range per charge), which will be tested by UPS later this year. The company is also working on ET-ONe electric semis, which boast 300 miles of range per charge and which is being targeted at operators requiring short-haul, day-use trucks. 

We have mentioned just a few technologies that are making a career in professional driving more interesting, but there are many more. GPS-based transport management software (to track vehicles), data driven decision making (to determine  pricing, service delivery etc.) and advanced braking (to enhance braking effectiveness by combatting wheel locking) are just a few more technologies that are already making driving safer and more efficient. New technologies will also ensure that younger generations are attracted to an industry which, despite aiming for greater automation, continues to rely on human beings for speedy, trustworthy service.