It’s been said time and time again, but transportation is on the verge of many changes both internal and external. Despite being an industry that deeply values tradition and independence, the introduction of new technologies is simply inevitable. Sure, we don’t need every single thing in life to have a digital counterpart, but what if they helped us achieve more? This sense of anticipating coming technology is something all sort of transportation professionals are experiencing — and hopefully embracing. Here we’ll talk about some of the ways the nature of trucking jobs are changing when dealing with new trucking technology and more!
Dealing with New Trucking Technology
Now, various things come to mind whenever the words “trucking technology” come up in conversation. Many immediately think of the somewhat ominous rise of autonomous or self-driving vehicles. Of course, these vehicles are already making great changes to the approach drivers and logistics companies are used to. However, going a little deeper than that is the idea of an autonomous highway — something that is comprised of many advanced vehicles, tracking systems, and even smartphone apps.
Nonetheless, autonomous vehicles do pose some of the most significant considerations when dealing with new trucking technology. The most investment-heavy and active approach is that of Uber’s current self-driving fleet and transfer-hub system. Essentially, their shipping model is entirely dictated by self-driving technology synced through smartphone apps. Here’s a quick overview of the process:
Self-driving trucks from Uber utilize a transfer hub model, which actually leaves room for human drivers and additional jobs to be created — at least in the short term. First, the shipper logs onto the app and finds a participating driver in a conventional long-haul truck. This trucker then picks up the freight and makes a short-haul trip to one of Uber’s transfer hubs. Here they are met by self-driving trucks from Uber and the load is handed off.
Anticipating Change in the Industry
The point here is that new technologies often get developed out of a need for convenience, and trucking is no exception. So how can dealing with new trucking technology actually make it easier to maximize your career?
In a way, it comes down figuring out what aspects of your driving career you’d like to improve. With smartphones being mini-computers in our pockets, it’s hard to imagine this job without a decent cell phone for many. As drivers inevitably get younger and more apt to use similar technologies the possibilities are increasing every day.
Now you can access load board apps, traffic updates, customer contact information, and even satellite imaging of delivery points.
Check out Dock 411
One app we’re particularly fond of is Dock 411. Whether you’re a shipper, broker, carrier, or a driver there’s something for you with this app. In a past episode of Big Rig Banter, you can hear our conversation with co-founder Dan Serewicz on how the app is solving some of the most common issues faced in transportation:
When drivers are able to locate hazards, points of interest like scales and truckstops, and even review and anticipate the type of dock they’ll encounter, apps like these are a no-brainer! Check out the full range of features here:
Nonetheless, the increasing number of apps allow drivers to really focus on what matters to them — staying safe and efficient while on the job. Really, the idea is to understand what your needs are as far as a trucker and act in anticipation of new technologies. Whether that means learning about new shipping models, implementing apps into your driving now, or just freeing up more time to study the intricacies of logistics, dealing with new trucking technology is all about your mindset!
Thoughts on dealing with new trucking technologies? Leave your comments below!