Demand for in-cab technology is expected to grow significantly as fleets look for new ways to recruit and retain drivers by reducing paperwork burdens, making their lives more comfortable and keeping them in touch with family.
“Giving truck drivers the ability to work with the technology that they use and are used to seeing in their everyday life while on the job shows an investment in the individual to help them perform their role … and shows an awareness of what technology can do to help move the [trucking] business forward,” Pol Sweeney, chief technology officer for Airclic, told Fleet Owner magazine.
“A driver will also be a lot more receptive to tracking orders, signature captures, reconciliations of returns, etc., on a mobile device than maintaining a paper manifest—a practice that today’s tech-savvy workforce will not have the patience for,” he added.
Sweeney told Fleet Owner that currently only about 17% of the driver population is under 35 and one possible way to entice younger drivers to join the industry is to provide them with the same handheld experience that they have in their personal lives.
“Younger drivers … don’t expect to read information off of and maintain a paper manifest,” Sweeney said. “That’s why the ‘consumerization of technology’ is catching up with trucking.”
At the same time, there’s also a potentially significant cost savings opportunity for fleets.
“The elimination of paper and manual processes from the supply chain lend themselves to significant savings opportunities, with companies citing their ROI [return on investment] achievement through improved order accuracy, reduced costs related to paper and paper processing and an improved revenue flow through ‘clean’ invoicing,” he explained.