New technology is making many jobs easier. Is the trucking industry ready for new technology to revolutionize it, as well? Some drivers can't wait for the trucking industry to catch up with other industries by way of technology; but not everyone feels the same way.
Truck drivers around the country welcomed the PrePass System which helps truck drivers by-pass weight stations in 28 of the 50 United States. This system not only helps save time by the truck diver not having to wait in line, it also helps save fuel. According to PrePass, their system has saved well over $1 billion since it began in 1997.
Another new technology that could vastly improve the trucking industry is the development and soon-produced hybrid vehicles. Since diesel costs continue to rise, have an alternative source of fuel is something truck drivers are interested in. However, the newer technology won't be here soon enough to keep some drivers from parking their rigs.
There are currently some environmentally friendly diesel engines, but the cost is such that drivers aren't able to switch over to the new technology. Many drivers would like to purchase new rigs, but it's not cost effective. Until the price of the new engines and trucks drops or the hybrid trucks hit the market it seems the trucking industry is at an impasse.
Other forms of technology are also being implemented in trucks. New anti-lock brakes and collision avoidance technology have greatly affected safety. The biggest changes seen in the trucking industry are not seen directly in the rig itself. Information technology has allowed better communication with drivers and with the trucks themselves. Real-time tracking information is now available.
Truck rigs have undergone technological updates, as well. They are now more ergonomic, the seats as well as the layout of the console, making it much more comfortable for a driver to spend countless hours on the road. The addition of global positioning systems (GPS) has also made the truck driver's life easier.
Transportation is one industry that can't be exported overseas for others to do. It also can't be replaced by technology until someone invents a science fiction transporter system. Truck drivers are a vital part of the United States economy, and while there may be new technologies developed, it's not likely truck driving as a whole will change.
Technology is great, and it can improve our lives, but it won't solve all of our problems. Some of the recent technologies will be implemented in the future. New technologies can become more of a hindrance than a help. Is the trucking industry ready for new technology? For the most part, it seems the industry is ready, but the technology may not come soon enough.