There are 3.5 million professional truck drivers moving freight for van and flatbed transport companies in the United States with an additional 8 million people employed in jobs related to the transportation industry. The transportation industry will be changed dramatically by the refined and rapidly advancing artificial intelligence (AI) technology.
AI Technology is moving forward rapidly with the likes of companies like Tesla, Google, and Uber. Truck manufacturers are testing prototype vehicles on public roads. These companies will revolutionize many areas including the optimization of travel lanes, efficiency in fuel use, drivers, safety, and prevention of accidents. AI is set to impact all these areas as well as others.
The biggest impact that AI will have on flatbed transport companies will be with the use of self-driving trucks. Highways are the easiest roads to successfully implement autonomous driving safely. Because of this, the trucking industry will be in the forefront of this emerging technology well before passenger cars. Urban roads just offer too many situations that can deter safe operational results.
Even though the constant and more predictable highways offer a safe place to roll out autonomous transportation human drivers will still be needed in cities and towns. These trucks will be able to travel for long periods of time staying in their lane-keeping a safe distance from other vehicles until they exit the interstate highway systems.
Flatbed Transport Companies and AI
Safety and Accident Prevention
Even though accidents on the highways are more extreme they are not as frequent as accidents on urban roads. Safety will be one of the largest benefits in AI transportation with attention to accident prevention practices. Fatigue after driving up to 11 hours straight and texting distractions are the main contributors to accidents. Human error can be eventually removed altogether.
AI software can perform at a much higher standard of safety than humans. Speed and braking will unfold first with stability and a decrease in skidding and rollovers as well as offering faster response time to prevent accidents.
Increased aerodynamics will contribute up to 15% in fuel savings across the industry. AI will monitor performance indicators in vehicle performance to document any underperformance issues in the vehicle’s mechanics. All these factors are expected to save up to $170 billion dollars.
New Job Opportunities
When all these technological advancements are in place an increase in different types of work will expand the industry for flatbed transport companies. There will be a need for remote truck drivers as well as technology experts, retraining programs, and for some time drivers in the cab will still be needed during the transition to full automation.
100% Brokering and load Matching
Brokering and load matching is already in the process to be fully automated as pioneered by Convoy using Convoy Go and Flexible Drop. Convoy claims 100% automation of load matching and brokering. Algorithms are much more precise than human decisions in detecting and matching loads to certain drivers and equipment allowing more time to focus on safety and logistical enhancements.