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Technology Forecast

Posted in Blog, News  
Thursday, May 25, 2023

Innovations in trucking technology to watch for in 2023

The trucking industry has always been a driving force for innovation, constantly evolving to meet the demands of an ever-changing world. While our industry hears a lot about autonomous driverless trucks, there are other new technological advancements emerging at a rapid pace. Among the most significant benefits of these cutting-edge developments are marked improvements in safety and efficiency on the road. In this blog, we'll explore some of the latest breakthroughs in trucking technology to watch for in 2023 and beyond.

Driver-assist systems

While many of these driver-assist technologies are currently in use, there are some that are just now gaining popularity and adoption. It’s important to note these are always improving to help drivers maneuver safely.

  • Lane detection: Uses a brief, gentle steering wheel turn to alert the driver that they are drifting out of detected lane lines, enabling the driver to steer back to safety.
  • Blind-spot monitoring: Alerts drivers with an audio or visual warning if there are vehicles in adjacent lanes that the driver may not see when making a lane change.
  • Rear cross-traffic alert: Warns drivers if they are about to back out of a parking spot and other vehicles are approaching.
  • Pedestrian detection: Detects a pedestrian in front of the vehicle and automatically applies brakes if a collision is imminent.
  • Accident avoidance: Warns, alerts, or assists drivers to avoid imminent collisions and reduce the risk of incidents. Some of these systems include automatic emergency braking.
  • Adaptive cruise control: Maintains a set distance between the truck and the vehicle in front of it. Will adjust the speed and apply brakes as necessary to maintain a pre-set distance.

Platooning

Truck platooning is when two or more trucks in a convoy are linked using connectivity technology and automated driving support systems to maintain a set, close distance between each other. The projection for this technology is that the first truck is controlled by a human driver while the subsequent trucks use automation to follow the lead truck, leveraging sensors and cloud-based communications to maintain the proper distance.

This is an interesting development as platooning may make it possible for trucking companies to be more efficient by allowing one driver to direct two or more trucks. Also, since the following trucks experience less wind resistance, they will save on fuel.

The Internet of Things (IoT)

The internet of things or IoT may be a new phrase for you. It is the interconnection via the internet of computing devices embedded in everyday objects, enabling them to send and receive data. In the trucking industry, these Internet-connected devices have the power to transmit all kinds of data for managing and optimizing supply chains and keeping track of freight. Here are some examples of the IoT in use for trucking:

  • Preventative maintenance: One important way the IoT is contributing to trucking is by improving maintenance practices. IoT sensors can monitor vehicles through vibration analysis, temperature sensing or fluid sampling. This analysis reveals developing maintenance issues before they lead to costly breakdowns. Volvo in particular has been a front-runner in this arena with its Remote Diagnostics system. Sensors on their trucks transmit several metrics, including engine and transmission performance, to their Uptime network.
  • Precise location tracking: On the most basic level, IoT devices can solve a common problem in the logistics industry: Where exactly is my freight and when can I expect it to arrive? IoT-enabled GPS trackers allow companies to accurately monitor a vehicle’s location at all times. The data is transmitted to a central system that sends real-time updates to an internet-enabled mobile device.
  • Available cargo space: Many trucking companies have begun utilizing cargo sensors to monitor available trailer space in real-time. By leveraging this data, they can strategically schedule pick-ups along a truck's delivery route, thereby streamlining cargo transportation and minimizing the number of miles driven.

Artificial Intelligence

There’s a lot of buzz in the news about artificial intelligence or AI and we will see it more and more in trucking as well. By harnessing the power of AI, trucking companies can streamline their operations, reduce fuel consumption, and minimize delays due to unforeseen circumstances. Furthermore, AI can assist in identifying driver fatigue, ensuring that drivers take necessary breaks to maintain alertness and safety on the road. The integration of artificial intelligence into the trucking industry promises a future of smarter, safer, and more sustainable transportation.

NTB is keeping a close eye on changes, developments, and improvements in trucking technology – particularly those that can improve the lives and safety of our driving force. If you want to learn more about our opportunities and how we can support you, connect with our recruiters today.