As fleet technology continues to advance, many fleet managers and business owners are realizing without it, their companies will fall behind the competition. Proper utilization of fleet management technology can increase your ROI, improve driver safety and streamline communications – but most importantly, some of the latest fleet technologies may be required for your organization to comply with new federal and international laws.
Here are just a few of the latest updates in fleet technology, and how they can impact your business:
- Self-Driving Cars: The future of fleet technology may very well lie in autonomous vehicles. One such vehicle, Freightliner’s eighteen-wheeler dubbed the Inspiration, is already being tested on public highways in Nevada. The truck uses radar technology to detect lines on the road and keep a safe distance from other vehicles. While the intention is to keep a human driver present in case of inclement weather or the need to journey onto urban roads, the impact of driverless trucks on fleet management is still profound.With more self-driving cars like the Inspiration hitting the road, fleet managers may not have such a hard time maintaining driver retention, as drivers will most likely become devoted to higher-level tasks, like monitoring truck diagnostics. Plus, drivers will be better-rested and therefore less likely to cause a crash while heading toward their destination (according to a recent study, 13% of large truck crashes occurred due to fatigue, and 25% of drivers admitted to dozing off at the wheel within the last 30 days).
- Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) Federal Mandate: Though the federal mandate requiring ELDs has been debated and discussed for years now, it seems that fleet managers finally have a deadline. By December 2017, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will require that all commercial carriers replace traditional, paper log books with ELDs that will more accurately track driver hours.Over the next 23 months, fleets will need to adopt the new fleet technology, or at least update their current electronic logging system with software comprehensive enough to cover all of the mandate’s requirements. Some of the ELD requirements include: 1) the ability to connect directly to the truck’s engine to detect if the truck is in motion, 2) the capability for drivers to log in and select whether they are On Duty, Off Duty or On Duty Not Driving, and 3) a conspicuous display of the drivers’ Record of Duty status so that they may easily see their Hours of Service logged each day.
- Canada’s eManifest Implementation: As described on the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) website, “eManifest is a transformational initiative that will modernize and improve cross-border commercial processes.” With the purpose of enhancing the security of Canadians while also streamlining cross-border procedures, the eManifest will require carriers to electronically transmit commercial information to the CBSA at least one hour before the shipment arrives at Canada’s border.Though the eManifest initiative has been in motion for some time, on January 11, 2016, the CBSA officially began issuing monetary penalties for carriers, freight forwarders and importers who did not send information meeting the new requirements. Those who don’t comply, no matter which mode of transportation used (whether air, marine, highway or rail) will experience processing delays.The importance of fleet technology is becoming more and more apparent each day, as evidenced by potentially-punitive government mandates and transformative phenomena like self-driving cars. To learn more about how fleet technologies can impact your bottom line, check out our fleet commercial roadside assistance plans.
 Grove, Julia. “Self-Driving Trucks: The Future of Fleet Management?” October 5, 2015. Retrieved from http://www.skybitz.com/NewsEvents/Blog/tabid/116/ctl/ArticleView/mid/571/articleId/137/Self-Driving-Trucks-The-Future-of-Fleet-Management.aspx on January 15, 2016.
 Clevenger, Seth. “ELDs are Coming; Don’t be Left in the Dust.” January 14, 2016. Retrieved from http://www.ttnews.com/articles/basetemplate.aspx?storyid=40572&page=1 on January 15, 2016.
 Omnitracs, LLC. Retrieved from http://eldfacts.com/eld-facts/ on January 15, 2016.
 Canada Border Services Agency. September 16, 2013. Retrieved from http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/prog/manif/faq-eng.html on January 15, 2016.