Omnitracs' Road Ahead blog

What will the 2020s bring to our industry?


2020: It’s a year that sounds like it belongs in the future, but one that we find ourselves face-to-face with this very moment.

Now that our reflections of the past decade and our introduction to this new decade are behind us, many are wondering what the 2020s will bring.

These past 10 years saw a deep decline of traditional media, a rambunctious rise of digital and social media, and the development of the smartphone from luxury label to economic essential. Perhaps more than anything, the 2010s will be remembered for the sweeping upsurge of technology. As we generally recall historical periods by the decade in modern history, it’s a wonder to think about what the 2020s will be known for in our industry.

The 2020s will bring a new way of training drivers

The idea of stepping into another world was considered far-off not too long ago, but the emergence and development of wearable Virtual Reality (VR) technology has made it so that VR is very much here — and here to stay.

The trucking industry has begun incorporating VR training with new drivers, as industry leaders believe that training drivers with this form of stimulation training provides them with a truly immersive learning experience.

Traditional training has drivers write down, watch, or spend time thinking about how they should react to situations. Virtual reality puts the drivers in the front seat in order to test both their cognitive and instinctive abilities. This will prove especially helpful in deducing where drivers’ strengths and weaknesses will lie on the road — before they actually get on the road.

If you’re interested in seeing what one of these VR companies looks like, check out VR Motion!

The 2020s will need to bring an industry that’s inclusive to younger generations

Baby boomers are now between 56 and 76 years old, and Gen Xers are between 41 and 55 years old. That means that the 2020s will see a huge number of boomers heading into retirement, if they haven’t already.

We recently discussed the importance of recruiting millennials and Gen Zers with innovative solutions, promising career trajectories, and modern company approaches, and this will prove especially essential when boomers — by far one of our industry’s most prominent demographics — will fade out of the workforce.

3 emerging workplace trends that will grow more popular in the 2020s are:

  1. Implementation of Artificial Intelligence (AI): McKinsey research suggests that 70% of businesses will have adopted at least one type of AI technology by 2030, and these numbers prove highly likely given younger generations’ exceptional comfort with advanced forms of technology.
  2. Focalization of the employee experience: Where the employee experience of older generations was more fixated on monetary gain and titles, younger generations are more interested in workplaces that boost a healthy work-life balance.
  3. Purpose takes center stage: 87% of millennials believe that there is more to business success than financial performance — and that’s what they’re looking for in a workplace. Younger generations are particularly focused on a company’s social impact, as they want to feel good about where they work.

The 2020s will likely not see the widespread use of autonomous trucks — but it will continue to heighten the buzz around them

President and CEO of the American Trucking Associations Chris Spear has gone on record to say that it will be at least 20 to 25 years before autonomous trucks become widely used. Spear, along with other industry leaders, has stressed that autonomous functionalities in trucks will be used to help drivers as opposed to replace jobs.

Still, given that the first autonomous truck completed a cross-country freight trip just last year, the already heightened concentration on self-driving fleets will only likely increase. Whether or not this concentration will bring hysteria, excitement, or a mixture of both to the industry remains to be seen.    

Want to know about what we’re planning to bring to the start of this new decade? Check out our 2020 growth and innovation plan from Omnitracs CEO Ray Greer that was outlined at Outlook 2020!