The commercial trucking industry has been grappling with the driver shortage for several years, and recently, the problem has risen to new heights and taken center stage in multiple news reports. Not only is hiring proving difficult, but so is retaining drivers, and it’s hitting fleet owners and managers hard with sidelined trucks not hauling cargo or contributing to the bottom line. Many fleets have explored ways to deal with the problem through higher driver pay, family-friendly schedules, and technology that can make a drivers’ job easier.
Suffice to say, the driver shortage will not be solved overnight and it will take a concerted effort among fleets and trade organizations to help alleviate what is now considered a crisis for the industry. One solution put forward, is autonomous tech and connectivity in the truck cab for drivers, which could improve the driver ecosystem and enhance the appeal of the job.
This promising idea and others was on the panel’s discussion table at TU Automotive Connected Fleets USA this week in Atlanta, Georgia, where Wes Mays, Omnitracs director of OEM product innovation, joined other panelists. The session explored the many ways connectivity and autonomous tech can be harnessed as a job benefit to entice new drivers to the industry and keep the good drivers already logging miles. The panel also addressed how connectivity can be used to manage cell phone and social media use to keep a new generation of drivers connected and engaged with their role and environment.
It was an exciting show with a lot of great content and very smart thought leaders exploring the future of the commercial vehicle driver profession and what in-cab technologies will be needed for the these fleet professionals.
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