Can New Technologies Make Trucking Safer?

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There is always an element of chance for drivers on the road. Whether you’re talking about a long-time veteran truck driver or a sixteen-year-old kid who just got his license, unforeseen elements can cause trouble out on the highways. However, those veteran truck drivers know that there are steps and precautions that can be taken to lower the risk of accidents even if they can’t completely eliminate the element of chance.

Two new technologies are hitting the trucking industry, and there are those who believe the implementation of these technologies will go a long way in making the roads safer for truck drivers and those who share the roads with trucks.

These two new technological advances made their debut in Indiana in mid-October, and there were a number of major players in the trucking industry on hand to take a closer look. On the surface, these technologies seem to accomplish simple things as far as trucking goes, but as most of us know, it’s often the simple things that can make a world of difference when it comes to driver safety.

Help Inc.’s 360SmartView

Nothing like a little HD filming to make things safer out on the roads, right? This one is especially important to truck drivers, because its main focus is to keep track of drivers’ safety records while they’re on the road.

The 360SmartView technology employs high-def cameras to take shots of DOT Inspection numbers and license plates as trucks roll into inspection stations across the country. After the cameras have done their jobs, “The information, collected from about 90 government databases, provides inspection officers with a compliance snapshot on that carrier.” (From: Rolling out Technology to Keep Trucks Moving.)

So, who gets this information? You got it—law enforcement. The technology, at its core, is designed to allow law enforcement and a range of state and federal agencies to work together to quickly identify “non-compliant carriers” and to get unsafe trucks and unsafe drivers off the road.

The big bonus of 360SmartView is that it works fast. It takes a process that could take several minutes and makes it happen in a few seconds. The hope is that it can improve trucking safety, while saving time and money in the process.

PrePass

The genius of the PrePass is that it takes inspiration from technology that is already in wide use today. Using a design not too far removed from Toll Tags and other technologies designed to keep drivers moving through toll stations and other stopping points on the road. The PrePass conveys specific information about the driver, the truck, and the company as the truck heads into a roadside weigh station. The thought here is that with the PrePass, truck drivers and trucks with no compliance issues could simply move on without having to stop. This could save time and money while also offering benefits to safe drivers.

Both of these new technologies have gained interest not only from the industry, but also from the Department of Transportation, which stated, “the two options could prevent as many as 21,000 accidents a year, nationwide.” (From: Fox 59.)

What new technology are you incorporating into your trucking routine?

Written by Andrew Miller
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