IT Mag

Vol. 8, No. 3

Fleet Management News & Business Info | Commercial Carrier Journal

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Page 6 of 43

LEARN MORE. MAKE MORE. ITS BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT WEBINAR SERIES REGISTER FOR OUR FREE WEBINARS AT TRUCKSTOP.COM/ WEBINARS S omewhere around 2002, I was driving a new Peterbilt tractor and had an injector go bad. I went into a dealership and they hooked a laptop computer into my truck and started talking to it in plain English. I could read the questions they asked the truck and the answers the truck gave back. I about passed out. I had no idea this truck I was driving was capable of that trick. I learned about several other modern technological advantages my truck had that day. at is nothing compared to the tricks that today's trucks are capable of doing and the future is an open door to some pretty imaginative advancements in transportation technology. I recently read a blog where folks were sharing, complaining, and griping about how the everyday car or pickup truck were cutting off big rigs, not letting them merge, passing and hitting the break right in front of them of trying to pass on the inside while a big rig swings wide to make a turn. All those actions lead to accidents whereas the transportation industry is held liable immediately and the general public is the victim. Most of the recommended changes had to do with educating the public — more public awareness of what it is like to drive a big rig. Some folks wanted to get the government involved with more public transportation and/ or more regulations. I think this country is going through a change kind of like entering puberty and there is nothing we can do but wait. Wait for technology to change our driving environment. No vehicle is truly autonomous yet, but several companies are within three to five years of actually accomplishing this miraculous feat and fully autonomous big rigs are only about 10 years out as I am writing this story. e unequivocal advantage of truly autonomous vehicles is obvious: less traffic related deaths, less traffic congestion, improved fuel efficiency, and more time for passengers to spend relaxing or working verses driving. Elements of advanced driver assistance systems are slowly taking over the truck driver's decision-making duties. Automated braking systems, speed control systems, lane departure warning systems are all setting the stage for what will ultimately become the autonomous, or self- driven, commercial vehicle. is change will bring enormous social and economic challenges with resistance from unions and industrial associations. e first truckers of this era were pioneers using the science of "oxteamology," which consisted of little more than walking along the le side of the oxen with a whip, prod, or goad, urging them on and guiding them. e truck itself was a springless and high-centered wagon with wooden wheels. If those hard working pioneers were standing alongside a freeway today, they would not believe their eyes. Seventy years from now, we may all feel the same way. We need to embrace technology and make it a priority to work and meet the challenges of our industry. TECHNOLOGY IN TRUCKING BY PAT DICKARD, ITS CORPORATE TRAINER Pat Dickard Knows Vo l . 8 , N o . 3 TRUCKSTOP.COM 7

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