Technology is advancing at a pace that is absolutely dizzying and businesses and industries are finding it difficult to keep up.
Those in the trucking industry are well aware of the many technologies taking place in the transportation world: ELDs, GPS, collision mitigation technology, to name a few. There is also the ongoing discussions regarding autonomous vehicles, though truly driverless trucks are likely years away from general usage. These technologies revolve around safety concerns. There are additional OEM technologies that have contributed to greater fuel efficiency and cost savings. These technologies often allow the equipment to communicate directly with the company, alerting maintenance and management to any potential problems.
However, there are other technologies set to impact the industry, and all industries, that companies must be aware of. At the recent NationaLease Annual Meeting Matt Clark, COO of Corcentric, discussed how those in the trucking industry had to be aware and informed of the top technologies that could impact their businesses and the trucking industry in general. Jane Clark, Vice President of Member Services for NationaLease detailed the ten technologies listed below in her recent IdeaXchange blog.
The Top 10, according to Matt Clark are:
- Additive manufacturing, also referred to as 3-D printing can be used for replacement parts in older vehicles
- Advanced robotics are enhanced tools that can be used for delicate tasks. Once somewhat unwieldy, robotics are even used for some increasingly sensitive tasks (think surgical robots)
- Artificial intelligence or “AI” basically machines able to learn, reason, and self-correct
- Blockchain will create transparency and trust in multi-party supply chains.
- Drones, once exclusively used by the military, are now used for package delivery, agriculture, weather monitoring, and are even available to the general public
- Internet of Things or “IoT” will essentially allow objects, through the use of sensors, to collect, evaluate and transfer data without human intervention.
- Machine learning computers to learn and change behavior without being programmed by a human to do so when exposed to new information.
- Software robotics will increase office efficiency by automating time-consuming a low value-added tasks like writing responses to emails and some customer support applications.
- Virtual and augmented reality is well known for its consumer applications, but it is also used in manufacturing and training.
- Wearables like “fitbit” and other wearables are used to measure human activity including measuring workouts, blood pressure, heart rate, and more.
Some of these technologies remind one of the “Terminator” movies, where machines get smarter than their creators; but the reality is these technologies, though capable of being abused, can enhance our lives and our businesses. What is important is that companies not get left behind because they are not taking advantage of these technologies. You may not use these technologies, but your competitors are.