How the Internet of Things Will Change Trucking in America in 2018

By ProTech_RJ | December 11, 2017

The trucking industry is changing rapidly through mobile and connectivity advancements known as the Internet of Things (IoT). Through the use of smart gadgets, companies have improved how they carry out their operations, and made work more efficient and safer. Not only do enterprises stay connected to their drivers via a centralized network, but also, and more importantly, essential data is recorded in real-time. 



From slashing road safety issues to enhancing monitoring systems in fleet management, the IoT makes trucking a more effective business. The American Trucking Association stresses that the trucking business is a major part of the U.S. economy as 70 percent of all freight tonnage transported in the country is done via trucks. Additionally, 10.4 billion tons worth of freight moves on a yearly basis, which requires 3.6 million heavy-duty Class 8 trucks and more than 3.5 million, truck drivers. In an industry that has many moving parts, the IoT streamlines every facet of the workforce. 



IoT Will Safeguard Motorists of All Kinds



According to the 2015 DHL and Cisco Internet of Things Trend Report, the IoT in logistics will generate revenues up to $1.9 trillion in value over the next ten years. With trucking a vital component to the logistics landscape, incorporating and enhancing the processes of the IoT will be a priority for companies. A post from The IoT Business News predicts that in 2018 the industry will experience more IoT benefits which include the utilization of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) in the trucking processes — especially when crucial decisions that involve public safety must be made:



“By aggregating and analyzing current and historic weather, microclimate and traffic data, transportation agencies can preemptively deploy salt trucks to roadways that often ice over, just before they begin to freeze. Subsequently, they can predict when fog is likely to appear on hyper-local sections of roadways and warn drivers. These types of predictive decisions, powered by AI and ML, enable transportation to move with fewer disruptions, keep costs down and ensure safer travel,” stated Kyle Connor, Cisco Transportation Industry Principle. 



The IoT Will Make Every Trucking Process Efficient and Transparent



This December, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will enforce a law that requires commercial transport vehicles to have Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs). This technology has rendered paper logs obsolete as it offers a comprehensive and cloud-based monitoring system that keeps tabs on different elements of a truck’s journey. Fleetmatics claims that ELDs will allow fleet operators, trucks drivers, and road safety governing bodies to have complete access to the data. This will give all parties increased transparency and accountability. Moreover ELDs also automatically record the Hours of Service, provide correspondence among parties, and will keep the company up-to-date with the latest regulation amendments. In the upcoming year, the trucking landscape will become, in many ways, ELD-driven and it shouldn’t come as a surprise that for years to come this technology will be continuously improved upon. 



Additionally in the interest of revolutionized efficiency, through the IoT, we are getting closer to a future where autonomous trucks will become reality. Companies like Uber are in the testing phase of such technology, with a global transport company reportedly looking into the viability of self-driving vehicles. This improved efficiency through automation will also be evident in the garage. Here at Preteckt we have already detailed how predictive diagnostics could use data collected from trucks to predict when a mechanical issue will occur. This would allow a mechanic to address the problem in advance. In the same way that autonomous vehicles will reduce fuel costs, predictive diagnostics will save owners unnecessary expenditure by ensuring that the vehicle isn’t delayed due to issues that could have been addressed earlier.


This post was written by guest author ProTech_RJ. He can be reached at reese.am.jones@gmail.com.