For the past several years, the IAA Commercial Vehicles shows have circled around the themes of electrify, automate, and connect. Now, the trucking community is getting a glimpse into what those elements will mean for the industry’s future.
In previous years, the shows placed a premium on connectivity over electrification, but they’ve since swapped their focus. This is unsurprising given the rise of Nikola and Tesla electric vehicles as well as the positive public perception for electric transportation. As urbanization continues to spread across the country, the transportation industry has to address problems such as congestion, air quality, and more. Trucks made for an easy target; going electric means no emissions, less noise, and an easier path to creating autonomous processes to reduce traffic problems.
Automation Before Autonomous
The IAA made it a point to stress the preference for automation over fully autonomous vehicles. This is in large part because there is no reliable timetable for when autonomous vehicles will be ready for deliveries in every situation trucking can present (i.e. weather, terrain, human drivers, etc.). However, automating functions for safety and productivity are well underway. Some existing examples of automation already in use include automated emergency braking and systems that adjust trucks to keep them in their lanes.
Connectivity used to be at the forefront of the IAA, but its descent to the bottom of the list is unsurprising. Connectivity is already flourishing in the trucking industry after years of advancements. In fact, the progression of connectivity is what paved the way for innovations in electrification and automation. Telematics represented one of the biggest breakthroughs in connectivity and now drivers can interface with their vehicles and the vehicles around them for predictive maintenance, platooning, etc.
The presentations and displays at the past few IAA shows paint a clear picture of the future of trucking. Trucking companies need to embrace the message of electrify, automate, and connect if they want to remain relevant. To stay up to date with the latest trucking innovations and how they will affect your trucking business, contact the experts at Cline Wood.
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