The Impact of Technology on Modern Transportation and Business
Like most industries, the transportation industry is embracing the latest technology. A more efficient supply chain and improved driver dynamics are just the beginning of the benefits businesses in this sector reap when they successfully implement modern tech tools.
Technologically driven transportation is the future of the transportation sector. But adapting to the technology that elevates modern transportation and business doesn’t come without challenges.
Let’s explore the full impact of new technology on the transportation sector in more detail below.
Create A More Efficient Supply Chain Operation
Supply chain issues are all too common for transportation businesses. For example, the cost of transporting goods has increased due to labor shortages and fuel prices. As a result, many suppliers must raise their prices, and that ultimately affects pricing and overall operation.
There’s more congestion at ports, leading to delivery delays. There’s also an ongoing shortage of raw materials and parts and issues accurately forecasting demand since the pandemic that impacts how a business’s supply chain operates.
Furthermore, there are many cases of errors happening across the journey products take from source to consumer.
Tracking technology is on the list of supply chain trends to look out for because it helps improve how things move through the supply chain.
Radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags, for example, can track the movement of all your goods wirelessly from supplier to you to your customers. It allows real-time visibility into your shipments, helping reduce errors and stock-related issues, and improve inventory management and costs.
One challenge you’ll have to tackle with tracking technology is ensuring everyone on your team and your suppliers knows how to use the software. Regular training with your employees and a meeting of the minds of your suppliers will help you get to this point. Additionally, integrating transportation digital signage into your tracking system can provide real-time updates and easy-to-understand visuals, making it simpler for everyone involved to stay informed and efficiently utilize the software.
Improve Driver Dynamics
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, from 2020 to 2021 the number of large trucks involved in fatal crashes increased from 4,821 to 5,700. In addition, large trucks involved in injury crashes rose by 11 percent. This is why transportation companies are always looking for ways to improve safety and other driver dynamics, like comfort, well-being, and driving best practices.
Electronic logging devices (ELDs) have transformed safety initiatives in the trucking sector, particularly. You plug this device into the truck’s onboard diagnostic port and it will gather data on driver hours, location, speed, mileage, and engine functionality to regulate driver and vehicle safety.
Other technologies improving driver dynamics are:
- Collision mitigation systems;
- Forward-looking camera systems;
- Vehicle maintenance apps;
- GPS technology designed specifically for truckers;
- Driver alert systems for fatigue;
- Electronic stability control (ESC).
These new technologies can improve safety and additional driver dynamics. However, they can also be dangerous distractions. For example, driver assistance features like automatic emergency braking and lane-keeping assistance, can lead to drivers becoming overconfident in the vehicle’s ability to stop a collision itself. Or, when drivers try to adjust these tools while driving, they take their eyes off the road and increase their chances of accidents.
Managing these distracted driving risks is a must to avoid legal consequences like lawsuits as well as financial risks and hits to your reputation. Requiring drivers to put down all devices while driving, limit app use, and engage in attentive driving will ensure safety amid technological advancements.
Enhance Energy Use
If there’s one glaring issue with the transportation sector it is its impact on our planet’s health. The United States Environmental Protection Agency stated that “Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from transportation account for about 29 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, making it the largest contributor of U.S. GHG emissions.”
If you’re using gas-powered vehicles and trucks that use diesel, you’re contributing to something so dangerous for our environment.
Greenhouse gases are the foundation of global warming and climate change. Extreme weather, plant and animal extinctions, rising sea levels, and ocean acidification are the result, negatively impacting the health and longevity of our planet and people.
Thankfully, technologies that help improve energy efficiency are on the rise. One example is the rise of autonomous driving vehicles, which may increase efficiency. Another obvious example is the transition to fuel-efficient and electric vehicles. Switching to electric vehicles will have a direct impact on fuel usage and costs.
If you can’t afford to switch your entire fleet to an all-electric one, consider fuel-efficient vehicles. They can also reduce your carbon emissions and promote energy conservation. You may be eligible for tax benefits as well, like the Commercial Clean Vehicle Credit.
Fleet management software is also helpful in enhancing energy use in transportation. You have visibility into vehicle maintenance needs and driving practices that lead to inefficient energy use, like slamming on the brakes.
IoT devices, such as trailer telematics, that are powered by smart grids can give you even more data on energy efficiency. These devices can send all of this information in real-time to leaders in all locations to analyze and make improvements to how goods are transported.
Keep in mind that while you may be committed to sustainable transportation practices, the suppliers you work with might not be.
So, to ensure sustainability is a core component of your transportation operation, it’s essential to audit your suppliers to ensure they’re dedicated to using modern technology that enhances energy use and supports other sustainability initiatives.
The future of the transportation sector is rooted in technology. More efficient supply chain operations, improved driver dynamics, and enhanced energy use are only part of the positive impact modern technology has on transportation and business.
Continue educating yourself on the new technologies rolling out in the transportation industry and consider implementing some of them in your company.
By Indiana Lee, BOSS contributor