What's the Future of Driving? Experts Weigh In
News Two transportation experts tell us where the industry is heading, and when self-driving vehicles are going to become commonplace.
What is one emerging trend in the transportation industry that readers should look out for in the coming year?
Andy Roberts: Similar to how the consumer electronics industry quickly brings new functionalities to market, the automotive industry will need to learn to operate in a similar manner. Vehicles new features in the form of new software. Predictive energy management and objective vehicle performance metrics two examples.
Ananth Rani: Video-enabled accident detection and prevention technology will become more of a must-have safety tool for fleets of all sizes starting in 2019. This technology has previously been overpriced and out of reach for many fleet-based businesses, but the next generation of video safety solutions will not only be affordable for all fleets, but will also provide a path to make AI-based systems more mainstream.
What is a top challenge facing the transportation industry? What needs to be done in order to overcome it?
Andy: Two challenges are resources and skill mix. When electrification and autonomy come, they will require a significantly different skill set than what has traditionally existed. Re-training existing resources for cutting-edge skills in mechatronics, systems engineering and software development is costly and time-consuming. There is also significant competition from other industries for the same skill sets. The industry must leverage global talent and show that the transportation industry is a great path for those with these types of skills.
Anath: I see a big challenge coming from the “trucking capacity crunch,” which can be attributed to a shortage of drivers, a high attrition rate and new regulations. They often require businesses to dedicate time and resources to bring vehicles up to compliance standards. The industry will have to invest in cost-effective technology that combines future-proof safety features with tools to make it easy to recognize and reward employees for practicing safe driving behaviors.
How are advanced driver assistance systems going to redefine the automotive industry?
Andy: It has the potential to redefine the ownership model. For many people, it will increase access to transportation. But the industry will have to watch out for development costs and litigation risks until legal precedents are set and more real-world field data is available.
Anath: Today’s fleets generate massive amounts of structured and unstructured data on a daily basis. Being able to analyze that data can make the difference between record-breaking profits and a loss. In the future, as blockchain, machine learning and additional mobile integrations continue to evolve, it will be even more imperative for a fleet to have technology that can leverage real-time vehicle data in conjunction with detailed analysis and benchmarks on past fleet performance.
What steps can advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) solution providers take in order to generate greater customer acceptance of autonomous vehicle technology?
Andy: We must establish the right metrics to assess ADAS functions. It’s not enough to understand the physics of the radar or the logic of the controls. We have to understand how this technology affects the user. When someone purchases a vehicle, they assume that the vehicle’s features are safe. But if using the feature makes them uncomfortable or causes them anxiety, they may look for a way to disable it.
Anath: The benefits of GPS fleet tracking and telematics are well-proven. On average, Azuga customers experience a 57 percent reduction in driving citations, a 38 percent reduction in accidents and a 53 percent reduction in wear and tear on their fleet after implementing our GPS fleet-tracking solution. Along with this proven ROI, fleets can take it a step further by leveraging a combination of telematics technology and data expertise to establish quantitative relationships between driving behavior, fuel consumption, accident risk and more. Such analytical insights can provide fleet owners with a better understanding of potential savings, incentives to improve driving behavior, and ultimately optimize fleet performance.