Earlier this year we did a piece about the potential for autonomous trucks, or trucks that drive themselves. The blog post stemmed from an article in FleetOwner which outlined the technology that could one day lead to driverless vehicles. FleetOwner has an update to their piece.

The initial article was focused on how technology can augment drivers rather than completely replacing them. This would reduce stress for drivers on long trips, keeping them fresher with options that could potentially allow a computer to take over for stretches of the trip. These technologies aren’t being used as a chip to devalue drivers, but as a way to recruit new drivers.

“We’ve done a lot of end-user research to come to the conclusion that autonomous vehicles will enable recruiting drivers,” Sandeep Kar, global vice president for Frost & Sullivan said. “(Trucking) will need to entice young drivers by giving them a work environment that is less stressful, less disenfranchised — that enables them to connect to the world outside.”

According to Kar, only 11 percent of truck drivers in the United States are under the age of 30. With many different avenues for millennials to choose from in their career path, the trucking industry must do everything it can to improve its relations with employees.

At Actsoft we certainly know that treating your employees well can help increase your revenue. Taking care of employees is a smart investment in running a business. So how might autonomous vehicles improve the driving experience and save money for trucking companies? By making the long trips for drivers less demanding on their bodies and minds to enhance driver performance. With drivers running vehicles at optimal speeds, taking the best routes, focusing on fuel efficiency, and being safer on the roads it’s assured that vehicles and the drivers themselves will be able to last longer than before.

While autonomous vehicles may not exist in the immediate future, there are GPS-enabled tools that exist today to help manage fleets, keep drivers safe, to keep drivers on (or ahead of) schedule and ultimately save money. Many businesses are moving to some form of GPS to try to manage their fleet, but Actsoft does much more than just GPS.

CometFleet allows management to track the location of vehicles, set up alerts such as speeding and hard breaking and to know when a vehicle travels outside of the desired area. These notifications and metrics are put together in a report that can be viewed when needed or can be sent as a reoccurring report.

There are issues with fleets that even the best driver might let slip through the cracks like idling, which can account for up to 8% of fuel costs. A truck that spends $70,000 a year on fuel is spending $5,600 of that on idling. Just ten seconds of idling uses more fuel than restarting the engine. CometFleet reports idling to ensure every ounce of fuel is put toward getting the job done.

In addition to CometFleet’s features, Advanced Wireless Forms have allowed businesses to toss out inefficient paper logs and forms. There are many reasons why going paperless can help any industry, but for fleet owners, you want your drivers on the road rather than spending time on paperwork.

Actsoft’s solutions have helped businesses become more efficient and some businesses saw a return on investment within the first year. Gardner-Watson Decking in Oldsmar, Fla., saved more than $60,000 when a stolen vehicle was recovered thanks to CometFleet alerts.

A technician studying up his next assignment while the vehicle drives him to the next work site may be a reality in the future. Just know that technology is designed to make business easier. At Actsoft we’d like to help you guide your company towards a bright future.

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