In 2019, there were around 4,119 fatalities as a result of large truck accidents, with 16% of those deaths being truck drivers, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Improving road and truck driving safety is a desire that manufacturers, government bodies, and motorists all share. In this quest, technology is stepping up to make truck driving - and driving in general - safer not just for drivers, but for other people on the road. So what innovations are leading the way?
Driver Assistance Systems
In 2019's fiscal year, there were 29,000 accidents involving USPS trucks, according to the USPS Inspector General's office. In accidents like this, a truck accident attorney will argue that victims involved must be duly compensated for injuries and medical care. This can result in massive losses for commercial vehicle services. This is why the USPS is now using advanced driver assistance systems to boost the safety of their drivers and cut down accidents by 50%. Their new trucks utilize 360-degree cameras, forward collision warnings, blind-spot detection, and many other new helpful features. The more significant data they gather from being active on roads, the better driver assistance systems will become.
The commercial vehicle sector has been focused on automation with driverless cars. It was believed that automation would be the thing to revolutionize commercial trucking. However, it seems that artificial intelligence will actually be the innovation to achieve this. Avi Geller, CEO of Maven, says that AI is central to improving safety for truck drivers and others on the road. Geller says that the use of AI for route optimization, improving driver efficiency, and algorithms can be used to determine whether or not it is safe to deliver under certain conditions. Maven also says that AI-powered and cloud-based will be more normalized, and will have a significant impact on the improvement of safety and reducing the occurrence of accidents.
Augmented reality can be utilized as a layering tool to provide a safe and efficient flow of data for truck drivers. Companies like DHL and XPO are exploring the use of augmented reality to mitigate blind spots in trucks. It involves using a display such as a smartphone screen or a dashboard tablet, and provides the driver with a flow of data that can help them drive more safely. Augmented reality can also be used to train future long-haul truckers to give them a taste of driving for long periods under different road conditions without having to actually be on the road. This can help cut down mistakes that may put drivers and other motorists in danger.
These are only some of the examples of the latest technology that is aiming to improve safety for truck drivers. With trucking continuing to be an essential service, it is paramount that manufacturers, fleet owners, and drivers themselves are assured of better road safety odds. Technology is in a constant state of improvement, so the commercial vehicle sector will have a lot to look forward to in the months and years ahead.