Benefits of Autonomous Trucking in Fleet Management
Updated: Jun 26
As arrival of autonomous trucks technology is getting closer and closer to reality it has become trendiest topic in transportation industry. Otto, a San Francisco-based startup, successfully delivers 50k cases of Budweiser in a driver-less truck on a 120-mile journey from Anheuser-Busch’s Fort Collins facility to Colorado Springs last October. With proof of successful trail of its self-driving trucks and it has become a very real reality. With this technology drivers & managers can improve supply chain efficiency, reduce freight cost, helps to reduce traffic accidents with avoiding congestion and mainly reduce the truck driver deficit. Along with Uber, plenty of other organizations have also been step up with this technology, like Google & Tesla. Read more about the future of managing fleet & its effectiveness.
Many vehicle accidents are caused by human error. Reckless or drunk driving can cause serious danger for people on the roads as well as organization; however, even diligent drivers can cause accidents. Manufacturers and fleet managers are looking to find ways for safer and easier transits. In the US alone, it is projected that driver-less vehicles one day will generate approximately $2 trillion a year in revenue. On top of that, they will create business opportunities for the transportation industry, reduce traffic accidents and cause less harm to the environment. The trucking industry has been suffering from a driver shortage for some time, and some are touting driver-less trucks as the solution.
Here are some of the Benefits of Autonomous Trucking:
Facing Driver Shortage and Increasing Productivity
Improved Safety & Reduced Human Error
Save Time, Energy, & Money
1. Facing Driver Shortage and Increasing Productivity: Trucking sector faced driver deficit issues of over 36k in the year of 2016; according to ATA (American Trucking Associations) it could grow over 63K in 2018. In next 8 years it is expected to increase to 174k. The Trucking sector would require nearly 900k drivers over the 2026 or 90k on every year in order to fulfill the demand.
In 5 to 7 years from now, the United States will need about 2.7m long-haul drivers. Given that autonomous trucks can be utilized twice as much as human drivers. Autonomous technology is not completely driver-less but it is capable of taking 85% of the active steering out of the driver’s hands, and there was no need for the driver to override anything on highways. But it cannot anticipate unexpected actions, it is helpless to deal with any mechanical problems that come up, and in the uncontrolled conditions of the road between towns and cities, there are many more variables to deal with that no one has anticipated. AVs (Autonomous Vehicles) can help drivers reduce driving stress, cut the amount of monotonous time periods on long trips by allowing the driver time to rest during those stretches of 11-hour drives. It shows positive effect on driver health and reduces sleepiness as much as 25% when operating in autonomous mode. AVs can’t get tired, stressed, or distracted which helps drivers and fleet managers to boost their productivity as much as possible. Read more about top 5 responsibilities of a fleet manager.
2. Improved Safety & Reduced Human Error: In 2012 saw over 300,000 truck-related crashes that led to almost 4,000 deaths and 90% of accidents are caused by human error. The costs related to those accidents are astronomical, both financially and emotionally. Autonomous trucking capable to decrease those numbers by reduce the burden of long-haul driving, one of the main sources of fatigue for drivers. With the technology of Advanced Driver Assistance System, autonomous trucks will take 85% of vehicle control which helps driver to relax and stress less when traveling on highway. The Innovation beyond the autonomous is to ensure our highways are more secure and safer. The Advanced Driver Assistance System technology has the essential tools, like speed control, antilock braking system, steering control, and automated transmission control. With Electronic Stability Control system which adjusts the speed and braking of each individual wheel to improve truck stability by continuously analyzing road condition, if your truck loses traction on the road it uses a number of complex systems, from your truck’s ABS to reduce the risks of skids and roll over, ensuring that you maintain control. Self-driving trucks are designed to prevent traffic jam and take the most optimized route when traveling on highways, which reduce traffic jams and congestion. Read more about the benefits of accident reconstruction in fleet management.
3. Save Time, Energy, & Money: Autonomous driving saves Time, energy and money. With a driver-less vehicle, you’ll have more time on your hands, making you more productive and, potentially, wealthier. This means that while commuting or traveling you can read, sleep, eat, or even do some business through Skype or your computer. Driver-less trucks could operate around the clock, overcoming the limitations that current regulations place on driver hours. Driver-less trucks are expected to have better safety records, as they would remove the single biggest reason of accidents: human error. In addition, with flexibility in hours of service regulation, the companies would be able to utilize their assets in a more efficient manner and bring down the total cost. The resulting savings and increased revenues could be invested in other areas, for instance hiring more labour to speed up the loading/unloading process. Know more about 7 ways to save money using a robust fleet management software.
With an AV, your fuel efficiency will go up because AVs will communicate with each other, eliminating the needs for slowing down and stopping at every intersection. On highways, driver-less trucks will platoon, driving more quickly and more closely together to eliminate wind resistance and saving around 10 to 12% of the fuel cost. When cars know where to park in advance, for instance, less fuel is wasted circling around and looking for a parking space. According to a report by the Brookings Institute, hundreds of millions of dollars will be saved on penalties and fines each year. For instance, just in 2014, the City of Los Angeles generated $161 million from parking violations. All this money could stay in the pockets of its owners if they had self-driving vehicles. With this newly created technology, people can be productive during their commute to work, or wherever they are going.
4. Economy Growth: The driver-less vehicle has broad implications for society, for the economy and for individual businesses. In the US alone, it is projected that driver-less vehicles one day will generate approximately $2 trillion a year in revenue. On top of that, AVs technology is poised to change the way millions of trucks move worldwide—benefiting business opportunities for the transportation industry, with speed and cheaper fuel bills while enabling lower emissions, reduce traffic accidents with less congestion and increased road safety with less harm to the environment. Read more about 8 benefits of going paperless in fleet management.