The world of trucking is changing, and in more ways than one.

Truck drivers are the backbone of the economy. They transport goods for both consumers and businesses. While the fundamentals will likely never change, many modern trucking trends are shaking up the industry. Nearly all trucks are monitored using real-time data reporting tools. Moreover, optimized loads and collaborative shipping processes are now a possibility. The thread that connects all these innovative solutions is modern trucking technology. What are the most common technologies influencing the industry?

1. Self-Driving Vehicles

Autonomous and self-driving vehicles aren’t just for the consumer sector. Many auto manufacturers are either developing or testing self-driving trucks on roadways. Recently, an autonomous driving system, called Plus.ai, was able to navigate a freight truck across the entire country without incident. While the ominous implication is that many long-haul truckers will be out of work, the reality is much more positive.

Manual drivers will still be necessary long into the future. These systems are designed for speed, precision and safety. They will likely take over — when ready — for tasks outside the realm of human capacity. In other words, long road trips with no resting periods that have an incredibly tight deadline. They’ll vastly improve safety for the drivers and other motorists. Moreover, they can make longer trips much faster because AI doesn’t need to take regular breaks or sleep. This will be an exciting development to keep an eye on.

2. Safer Trips

For the vehicles that won’t be steered by AI, safety-focused technologies can be installed to help improve driver experiences.

Imagine a freight truck that gives a driver a brief break and keeps the vehicle moving safely to its destination. Another might provide augmented-reality details right on the dash, like blind spot warnings, rear camera views, collision avoidance and much more.

Other minor solutions, yet just as effective, include lane departure warnings, stability control and assistance, real-time traffic alerts and speed warnings. They can be the difference between a spaced-out and exhausted driver getting in an accident, or moving swiftly on to their destination.

Of course, implementing these safety solutions can also go a long way towards improving company or fleet CSA scores. This is a safety measurement system and standard that allows clients and providers to reference a company’s track record, including driver records. A higher CSA score means more successful and safer deliveries.

3. Real-Time Monitoring

Thanks to IoT sensors, data analytics and machine learning, logistics companies can keep a close eye on their drivers and freight vehicles. They can see precisely where a truck is at all times plus estimated travel times, updated local weather and event details, and much more. Remote operators can even verify the security of goods in transport, helping to cut down on fraud and theft in the supply chain.

Most importantly, real-time monitoring solutions allow these companies — and their drivers — to stay connected and in communication at all times. It empowers the advanced coordination of the entire fleet.

4. Coordination and Collaboration

Imagine a truck breaks down or gets stuck on a snowbank in the middle of a large blizzard. There’s no getting it free, at least for some time, which means any goods or parcels stored in the trailer are going to be delivered late. That is unless, of course, remote operators can scramble a secondary vehicle to stop and collect those goods, eventually bringing them to their final destinations.

That is exactly the type of solution that real-time data and communication systems afford. Thanks to the incoming flow of information, both drivers and their remote teams can find answers to issues quickly and effectively. It creates a well-oiled freight operation that is no longer wrought with failures and setbacks and provides customers with a one-of-a-kind experience. It’s especially helpful during the peak shopping seasons.

5. Faster Deliveries

Similar to how consumers might use Google Maps or Apple Maps to navigate to a distant location, with step-by-step navigation, fleet managers and drivers can use the technology to make faster trips. Before the trip even starts, the technology can help map out and plan a route to many destinations a driver must visit.

Planning tools can use incoming data to account for traffic, accidents, construction, weather, travel times and much more. Once a journey starts, the system can make minor adjustments to avoid delays. This results in safer trips and faster deliveries due to highly efficient road routes.

6. Last-Minute Staffing

During a massive influx of work, like the holiday shopping season, it can be incredibly difficult to organize and acquire new talent. Mobile-friendly and online transportation job forums can help facilitate these recruiting and staffing issues. It’s much easier to find qualified workers with all the necessary training. Moreover, the entire onboarding process can be carried out remotely, with teleconference interviews, digital background checks and much more.

Now, companies can instantly boost their fleet numbers with a system that’s crowdsourced yet incredibly reliable.

These Trucking Trends Mean Better and Safer Deliveries

As expected, most innovative trucking technologies are designed to aid drivers by making their trips safer and more efficient, and to improve communication between drivers and the logistics providers. Considering the current landscape is seeing increased demand everywhere, these technologies can provide the necessary planning, support and even rest times so drivers can make it from pickup to drop-off safely, efficiently and without incident.

Emily Newton, Journalist & Editor-in-Chief, Revolutionized