The term technology refers to doing things through application of science. In other words, whenever scientific knowledge is in application, then technology comes in (Maia, & D'Agosto, 2013). To realize any improvement, there must be an aspect of technological advancement. It causes positive change in ways of doing things thus changing the output for the better. The kind of technology in use determines the level of output and cost of production (Larson, et al 2013). Technology is therefore one of the core factors that determine profitability of any venture including trucking industry.
It is worth noting that approximately 70% of freight in America is trucks especially on major highways. Majority of people use trucks to transport heavy goods from one location to another especially when covering long distance (Sternberg, et al 2014). Note that heavy trucks spend more time in the roads than other vehicles. Truck drivers experience hard time due to tiresome task when travelling over long distance (Larson, et al 2013). Advancement of technology in trucking is therefore an essential development that would make trucking easier. Proponents of technological advancement argue that such move would enhance efficiency and reduce fuel cost hence make the industry more profitable (Maia, & D'Agosto, 2013). There are other anticipated benefits that trucking stakeholders stand to obtain from the advancement.
Technology in the future of trucking aims at bringing positive change not only to trucks’ owners but also to other stakeholders. It would drastically reduce cases of accidents hence enhancing safety on the roads (Larson, et al 2013). Besides, the development targets to reduce operational cost by lowering fuel consumption while increasing revenue. Drivers are likely to have an easy time while driving trucks in future hence making the task enjoyable. Driving current trucks is tiresome and hectic task that makes most drivers develop stress. By embracing future technology, such cases would be no more (Lilly, 2014). In the next one decade, trucking industry would turn to be prestigious investment in America and other parts of the world.
Aspects of Technological Advancement in Trucking
Since trucking is a sensitive and tiresome task, it calls for application of scientific inventions to bring a positive impact to the entire industry. Truck driving requires a special attention to reduce the driver’s workload and prevent accidents involving trucks on the road (Moon, 2013). Such step would facilitate efficiency in the trucking industry due to reduction in delivery time. Accidents have been the key hindrance to timely delivery, which also inconvenience the whole chain (Larson, et al 2013). To prevent unnecessary delays and inconvenience to the chain, relevant stakeholders turn to application of the appropriate technology.
Low visibility during adverse weather is the main cause of trucks’ accidents. Technology would ensure that trucks have efficient sensors and cameras in all sides. Such improvement enables the driver to see the surrounding without any hitch (Maia, & D'Agosto, 2013). The truck also senses an object from the distance, alerts the driver and controls the truck to avoid possible collusion. The technology would also be in position to control the breaking system as well as steering wheel if the driver is not fast enough to respond to the alert. Such effort has something good to offer especially during winter season when fog is all over. Low visibility would not be a challenge in future hence bringing revolution to the industry.
Another point of concern is increasing carrying capacity of the truck while reducing fuel consumption at the same time. Currently, Walmart has a wave of changes in its trucks to address these concerns. The manufacturer uses carbon fiber in making its trailers thus reducing truck weight. To optimize its aerodynamic efficiency, Walmart trucks have convex nose that help to minimize aerodynamic drag as well as increasing the space for cargo (Larson, et al 2013). By using carbon fiber in making the truck, it reduces the total weight. There is an allowance for more cargo without increasing fuel consumption. This is highly economical compared to conventional trucks where the manufacturers use heavy materials. Note that the weight determines fuel consumption of the truck (Evangelista, & Sweeney, 2014). There are further attempts by many trucks’ manufacturers to address fuel consumption in future thus reducing the cost of managing freights and supplying cargo from one state to another.
Besides achieving economical freights, there is also an aspect of Greenhouse gas emission regulations. These regulations have enabled recent trucks to realize less than 10 mpg. There is a possibility of achieving better that this level hence reducing level of greenhouse gas emission (Sternberg, et al 2014). It aims at preserving the environment while helping the truck owner from incurring huge expenses of running a freight business (Lilly, 2014). To optimize cab aerodynamic, manufacturers in collaboration with relevant stakeholders aim at achieving smaller engine trucks. Manufacturers aim at reducing the cruse power and optimizing the engine size thus helping the trucks’ owners realize economical business.
How would technological advancement help the trucking industry?
The reason why trucking stakeholders seek to advance technology is to address pertinent issues that affect the business. It is to the advantage of the industry regulator, investors, workers and public if the stakeholders realize these goals. It is important to note that application of technology in trucking industry may attract more players (Maia, & D'Agosto, 2013). It implies that there would be more truck service providers in the market. Consequently, the cost of service would reduce drastically hence making benefiting the entire business.
Reducing the rate of accidents by using technology enhances public image for the trucking industry. The industry is able to attract competent drivers across the globe. Increasing cases of accident by truck drivers posts bad image and scares away competent workforce (Evangelista, & Sweeney, 2014). When the image is positive, the industry is able to market the business to the prospective customers. Most investors feel confident to transport goods using trucks. It becomes a preferred mode of transport for heavy goods to most business people (Sternberg, et al 2014). When the market is wide, then the industry players are able to derive profits from the business. Trucking industry is therefore able to realize and sustain public goodwill due to low rate of truck accidents on the roads.
Technological advancement in trucking industry eliminates business expenses incurred due to accidents. High rate of accidents increases cost of insurance cover for drivers and the truck itself (Evangelista, & Sweeney, 2014). In most cases, the investor provides insurance cover for the truck driver. Against, the law requires all trucks to have third party insurance cover. When the cases of accidents are many, insurers raise the cost of service due to high risk. With these prospects in technology, trucking industry would prevent such cases, which in turn influences insurers to lower the cost service. Owners of goods in transit also escape costs that are associated with high insurance charges (Moon, 2013). Insurance for goods in transit is likely to fall drastically by implementing technology in trucking industry. Few cases of accident benefit both the trucking service provider and owner of the cargo in transit.
There is no doubt that trucking industry has a brighter future with current advancement in technology. It is important to note that application of technology has cost implication especially to the industry players. Investors in trucking may incur some expenses that come along with any development. However, such commitment brings numerous benefits that no one can ignore. It therefore calls for cooperation among industry players to realize full benefits of technology.
With technology, one can expect efficiency in fleet management whereby a single computerized system traces various trucks in different direction. In case of any mishap, the person in the office is able to note thus taking appropriate action to prevent the unfortunate event from happening. The driver can be sure of a safe journey with lots of pleasure and comfort. With a mobile device such as a tablet, no need of remaining in the steering wheel throughout the journey. Drivers can relax, take a sip of drink, and remain in a comfort position for miles without any worry. It is amazing drive free from worries and exhaustion.
Technology benefits those who are willing to pay the cost. It does not just come automatically. It requires tireless efforts and input of industry players in terms of research. The investor should see the trucking industry with optimistic sight and be able to see the numerous benefits of technology. To obtain sustainable benefits, investors should be ready to fund the ongoing efforts and contribute to the objective. Unless this is done, it might be possible for the technology benefitting few people who are vigilant while other investors lag behind.
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Larson, P. D., Elias, A., & Viafara, J. (2013). Toward Sustainable Trucking. Transportation Journal, 52(1), 108-120.
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Maia, A. D. G., & D'Agosto, M. A. (2013). The future of trucking technology in Brazil: results of a technology forecasting model. Transportation Planning and Technology, 36(4), 319-334.
Moon, C. A. (2013). Technology, Robotics, and the Work Preservation Doctrine: Future Considerations For Labor and Management. Pepperdine Law Review, 14(2), 6.
Sternberg, H., Prockl, G., & Holmström, J. (2014). The efficiency potential of ICT in haulier operations. Computers in Industry, 65(8), 1161-1168.