Personal and commercial trucking remains one of the largest industries in the USA. According to US-based TechCrunch, one developer in the field Internet of Things (IoT)-integrated smart telemetrics has received a $90m (€79m) investment, an indication of industry interest in the development of a real IoT solution in the transport and trucking industry.
This investment is further evidence of how IoT will make roads safer without impacting costs, says Jocelyn Brown.
The cost argument
Connective technology will make roads safer and more efficient by allowing vehicles, particularly trucks, to communicate with one another over distances. This will also help to build new and reactive maps that change to live news.
A barrier to this has been cost and the age of vehicle; the average vehicle age in the USA is 11.6 years, according to the BTS. As a result, many companies are looking to make technology suitable for retrofit; most recently, Comma Two was reported to be helping older cars to attain self-driving traits. This means trucks of all types can continue to be bought with confidence that the vehicle – regardless of specification, size or age – will be suitable for the best new technological advances.
With this approach will come safer roads. Trucks are one of the most frequently cited vehicle types in road traffic accidents – the NHTSA found that trucks and sports utility vehicles (SUVs) have the highest rate of fatalities in road accidents – and improving their lot on the roads will improve them for all motorists.
Using IoT tech to create an interconnected web of vehicles has already been explored with regards to safety benefits; a study conducted in 2018 at the University of Riyadh in Saudi Arabia established one such template for safer roads. The idea is simple. Smart reporting of accidents and defective vehicles will allow the drivers involved and other drivers in their vicinity to make calls on whether to continue or to stop well ahead of time, and help other road users to make the right decisions too.
Improving road efficiency
Safety on the roads through preventative IoT measures is a great first action and one that is easily recognisable. Developing this further will be the ability of IoT-enabled vehicles to detect issues with their internal machinery as it develops, and to both alert other vehicles and onward repairs of the potential issue and how to rectify it.
Ultimately, this will improve road efficiency. According to Oracle, reductions in repair time, the amount of time defective vehicles stay on the road, and live reporting will create free-flowing and more efficient roads.
With these improvements in inter-vehicle communication bedded in, there’s potential for the entire fleet of trucks that traverse the US to be that much better for the roads. Safety, convenience and efficiency come together to create a better driving environment for the entire system. With the economic significance of truckers and the overall trucking scene always high in the minds of legislators and the wider economy, expect to see developments continue to ramp up.
The author is Jocelyn Brown, freelance technology writer,