Although the trucking industry has remained relatively unchanged for decades, the digital age has gradually managed to find its way into one of the country’s most famously low-tech professions. While the jobs of individual drivers still remain fairly straightforward, trucking companies themselves have become faster and more efficient thanks to advances in transportation technology. Aspiring truck drivers or people interested in working in the transport industry would be wise to familiarize themselves with the following technologies.

On-board Camera Systems

In recent years, on-board cameras have become a popular feature in commercial automobiles. With the aid of cameras, drivers are able to prevent auto theft, record accidents and capture interactions with law enforcement. As a growing number of freighting companies are quickly discovering, on-board camera systems can also be a boon to professional truckers. Reliable cameras can ensure that thieves never find their way into a driver’s cab or cargo hold, so if theft has been an issue for any of your truckers, cameras are an absolute must. Cameras can also help drivers monitor roads, enabling them to stay abreast of any accidents or pressing weather conditions in the vicinity. Lastly, on-board cameras can make dealing with the aftermath of an accident considerably less stressful. If footage captured by a driver’s cameras corroborates his or her version of events, things should proceed smoothly.

Telematics

Before advances in telematics came about, drivers would often find themselves stranded and in need of assistance. If they encountered a problem relating to cargo, needed directions or experienced automotive issues, getting the help they required could prove extremely difficult and time-consuming, particularly if they happened to be in the middle of nowhere.On the flipside, modern-day telematics technology and fleet-management software have essentially made stranded drivers a thing of the past. Drivers in need of any kind of assistance can receive it at the push of a button and take comfort in the fact that they’re never truly alone behind the wheel.

Convenient GPS

Becoming lost used to be one of the most common reasons for missed delivery deadlines. Navigating unfamiliar areas with aplomb is difficult for anyone — and seasoned truckers are no exception. Fortunately, thanks to advances in GPS technology, making one’s way through unexplored terrain to deliver cargo on schedule is a piece of cake. Solid GPS software can prove invaluable in getting truckers to their desired destinations in a timely and low-stress manner. Granted, delivery delays can still occur as a result of unforeseen weather conditions, traffic jams or accidents, but drivers can now cross “getting lost” off their list of worries.

Self-driving Trucks

As any longtime trucker can confirm, the job is often extremely monotonous. Sitting behind the wheel for periods of 12 hours or more can prove both physically and mentally exhausting, even if very little actual movement is taking place. With this in mind, a number of vehicle manufacturers have begun producing self-driving trucks. These trucks are equipped with a convenient cruise control features, which are designed to maintain safe speeds, keep vehicles within the lines and steer clear of certain obstacles. Drivers will still need to pay close attention to the road and monitor their trucks’ behavior, but a substantial chunk of the burden will now be off their backs.

Fleet Management Systems

Cutting-edge fleet management systems have proven tremendously beneficial to both individual drivers and the freighting companies that employ them. These systems allow companies to keep a watchful eye over all their trucks and drivers. Whenever a monitor notices that a driver has deviated from the charted path or appears to be troubled, they can instantly reach out to them and get a read on the situation. Monitors can also inform drivers whenever there are accidents or weather conditions they’ll need to watch out for. Investing in a reliable fleet management system can effectively reduce instances of distressed drivers and minimize late deliveries.

When we think about the trucking industry, many of us don’t equate it with technological advances. After all, at the end of the day, the goal of any freighting company is to move cargo from Point A to Point B — a process that, on the surface, doesn’t seem particularly technological in nature. However, as anyone who’s worked in transport can attest, technology plays a crucial role in training drivers, making deliveries on time and maintaining basic safety.