How Installing A GPS Tracker Can Get You A Good Auto Insurance Deal?

Key Takeaways

  • Major insurance and premium determiners
  • GPS Tracking solutions as the best option to lower premiums
  • Theft Mitigation
  • Improved trucker vigilance
  • No malicious or private usage of vehicles
  • Maintenance alerts
  • GPS tracking for truckers
  • Role of Matrack

Getting a good auto insurance deal for your commercial vehicle is often plagued with challenges. Insurers believe that commercially used cars and trucks are prone to accidents and damages as they need to spend a considerable amount of time on the roads. Therefore, a lack of indemnities often increases the premium rates as the insurance company expects claims at some point in time.

Why Commercial Auto Insurance is Necessary?

Using vehicles as an integral part of your business requires adequate levels of attention and obviously a security coverage, in case of a mishap. An auto insurance policy is therefore relevant as it can cover a majority of losses and prevent unforeseen ramifications. Moreover, while a private vehicle is sparingly used; commercial trucks and other vehicles need to ply for days together, with the drivers getting minimal rest. Not just that, business-centric vehicles, mostly trucks, often need to travel across the state or even beyond, thereby exposing themselves to several threats on and off the road.

Commercial Insurance: Major Determinants

If you are looking to purchase an insurance policy for your commercial vehicle, you must try to keep the premium rates under control and that too without coverage trade-offs. More often than not, the type and even size of the vehicle can determine the premium rates and the viability of the insurance plan. As a rule of thumb, heavier vehicles like trailers and even trucks used for transporting freight attract higher premiums as they are expected to incur graver damages in accidents. Insurance companies, therefore, charge exorbitant premiums, to cover for the greater risks and expected claims.

Businesses often consider insuring multiple vehicles under the same plan which also amplifies the premium rates. Furthermore, the condition of your commercial vehicle also determines the premium figures. In addition to that mentioned criteria, insurers also take the experience level of the drivers behind the wheel followed by the total distance covered by the vehicle, when it comes to determining coverage-centric premium slabs.

GPS Trackers: The One-Stop Solution for Lowering the Premiums

As mentioned, a majority of aspects that determine premium rates are directly or indirectly related to vehicle safety. Be it adherence to the road safety norms or efficient vehicle monitoring standards, GPS tracking is one feature that can significantly reduce the auto insurance premiums. Put simply, a GPS tracker readily encourages safe driving and allows you to get a sizable discount on the existing insurance costs. Most importantly, this discount comes in handy for implementing advanced tracking solutions for the entire fleet.

Insurance companies believe that GPS technology can reduce the chances of insurance claims. Therefore, to encourage the installation of GPS trackers, a majority of insurers offer substantial rebates on the otherwise higher premiums.

Then again if these reasons aren’t enough to make you immediately opt for a GPS tracking system for your fleet, here are some of the other persuasive validations that might change your mind.

Reduced Chances of Theft

Insurance claims due to vehicle thefts are common, especially when commercial trucks are concerned. GPS tracking technology, however, can mitigate this threat which is extremely encouraging for the concerned insurance company. In case your vehicle gets stolen and an official complaint is lodged, the built-in GPS renders adequate levels of assistance to the concerned authorities. Moreover, GPS trackers are also handy when remote asset management and stolen vehicle recovery is in question. Therefore, a truck installed with a tracker has better chances of being identified, which negates the insurance claims. This is one of the primary reasons why the premium rates are lower as compared to that for vehicles without any form of GPS tracking on them.

Vigilant Driving

There are insurance companies that determine premiums based on the experience and quality of the concerned drivers. GPS trackers ensure that drivers remain vigilant at all times, which in turn minimizes the instances of reckless driving. Drivers who are aware of the monitoring technologies are expected to drive as per the safety standards. Moreover, even if haulers experience health issues during the course of the journey, the company gets notified and automatic brakes are applied to halt the drive and lower the risk of accidents.

As per reports released by Forbes, insured vehicles with pre-installed GPS trackers are 20 percent less prone when it comes to accident involvement

Vehicle insurance premiums are paid periodically and the GPS tracking facility allows insurers to keep a log of the driver trends and other relevant insights related to harsh braking, over speeding, rapid acceleration, and sharper cornering. These facets are taken into account for determining the subsequent premium figures.  Finally, GPS trackers also bring in a lot of organizational transparency, especially when fuel and overhead costs are concerned.

Minimal Vehicle Abuse

Exploiting commercial vehicles for personal usage is prevalent, especially when the haulers are driving closer to their homes. If and when the vehicle is overused or abused, the premium rates go up as insurers feel that the number of miles is directly proportional to the chances of claims. A GPS tracker readily combats this threat and ensures that the commercial truck or any vehicle is only used for business.

Once the insurance companies are assured, courtesy of detailed and persistent footage, they are expected to offer premium cuts and other additional discounts.

Maintenance Notifications

In simpler terms, accidents lead to claims, and therefore, the insurance companies vouch for almost anything that prevents mishaps. When it comes to hauling dated vehicles that are already insured, truckers need to install GPS trackers at the earliest to stand a chance of getting a lower premium quote. Commercial vehicles that are prone to mechanical malfunctions are prone to accidents and therefore attract higher premiums.

The likes of brake-centric issues, tire blowouts, and other physical risks can be kept to a minimum if GPS trackers are added into the mix. High-end fleet tracking systems with integrated trailer and asset tracking facilities are capable of sending out real-time notifications, if and when the vehicles require maintenance. The concerned fleet manager is instantly alerted regarding oil changes and requirements related to tire rotations. Therefore, auto insurance firms identify GPS tracking systems as highly resourceful assets that encourage maintenance, thereby offering a hefty price cut on the associated premiums.

 GPS Tracking: A Cohesive Solution for the Truckers

While every commercial vehicle, including cars, trailers, and passenger buses can reap the benefits of a GPS tracker, its role in the trucking industry is certainly worth mentioning. However, we would keep this discussion restricted to the insurance-specific realm. Truck drivers, especially during the lockdown period and even in the post-pandemic era are putting in additional hours to make up for the lost time and income. As they often try to cover longer distances, health and vigilance are often compromised, which is immediately notified to the fleet manager.

With restrictions around, drivers get the requisite levels of training when it comes to restraining the behavior and plying as per the regulations. Besides the insurer, even fleet managers worry about the condition of the truck and even the associated freight. More often than not, load rejections dent the financial prosperity of the company in general which then fails to pay the premiums on time, eventually leading towards fines and policy lapses. Therefore, a holistic tracking system is necessary to minimize the existing downtime as drivers can easily be notified of the shortest and safest path to the destination.

As trackers help reveal the INS and OUTS of the truck, it becomes easier to cut down on the costs by controlling the operational overheads. GPS tracking, therefore, takes every aspect of the truck into account and ensures that the vehicle is always in a top-notch condition, something that minimizes the chances of insurance claims.

The Tracking System to Consider!!!

Although several credible companies in the market offer GPS tracking solutions for a standalone truck or the entire fleet, none comes close to Matrack, when customizability and efficiency are concerned. GPS trackers offered by Matrack Inc. are capable of sustaining the harshest possible weather conditions. Besides that, these solutions are great at asset tracking and recovery while ensuring proper feed generation for keeping up the vigilance quotient, which primarily caters to the insurance firms and helps them renegotiate auto premiums.B

With precise and accurate commercial fleet GPS tracking solutions from Matrack Inc., it becomes easier for fleet managers to convince the insurance companies of vehicle safety and driver alertness, thereby getting a hefty rebate on the soaring premium rates sans coverage compromises.

Small Trucking Companies – Challenges In Pandemic

Currently, the world is in midst of a health crisis of epidemic level because of corona virus. Because of the enormous and widespread effect of the virus for past few months, the crisis has morphed into huge economic setback for several industries as well. The transportation industry, specifically the fleet industry, have been hit hard by the ripple effects of COVID-19, as they are one of the indispensable task force that are still functioning and offering their services to ensure that people are supplied with essential goods and necessities.

Truckers all over the country have been continuously working to transport the necessities from manufacturers to the market, thereby keeping the country’s economy afloat. Their valuable service during these troublesome times have been recognised and praised. However, the small scale trucking companies are facing heavy brunt of the pandemic. Before COVID-19, the fleet industry was seeing a shortage of trucks and licensed truck drivers. But the pandemic has resulted severe operational losses because of which many industries are experiencing financial crunch, and are looking at ways to cut down on expenses. Small scale businesses, however, are facing greater trouble, and a huge percentage of them have already shut down their operations.

Challenges faced by small trucking companies

In fleet industry as well, small sized trucking businesses are already operating at huge losses. Most small and medium sized trucking companies depend on getting contracts after competitive bidding. Given the corona virus crisis, many of these truckers have to opt for lowest bidding, which does not cover their fuel, maintenance, food and boarding, taxes, and other expenses. Mr. Miller, a Hillsborough County (Florida) trucker, has been operating a small trucking company for past 20 years. According to him, before the pandemic, the load boards in the area he operates had hundreds of loads listed, while now there are barely 10 or 11 of the same. This makes bidding extremely competitive, and he can take up the loads only at significant loss to his business. The American Transportation Research Institute and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association have reported that half of the fleets are hauling only half of their original capacity.

The domino effect of the financial crunch has led to substantial decrease in the rate at which the truck drivers earlier hauled the same volume of loads. George Steven, a 45 year old trucker has been operating in Arizona State for past 20 years. As compared to pre-pandemic times when he usually has load to haul on both the ways of his trip, he now has to come back with an empty truck. This has further led to operational loss as the truckers are already accepting hauling jobs at the lowest possible rate. According to the Cass Truckload Linehaul Index, the decline in rates in from January to April of 2020 has been the fastest in the decade.

Given the situation, DoT and FMCSA have also eased the restrictions of Hours of Service, and many other of its rules and regulations. But Utah trucker Brian Rhodes has been finding it difficult to get proper hauling jobs as many businesses have been following strict social distancing norms and often close their businesses early during ‘Safer at Home’ lock downs. Also, as Mr. Rhodes is 58 years of age, and being vulnerable to the virus because of this, he has now decided to stay home and wait for this crisis to get over before going back on the road. Like him, several other truckers have had to temporarily give up on the job and stay home because of either their age or any other underlying medical condition.

As United States has been the worst affected nation, with highest number of infected and dead people, the truckers and other essential workers are in constant state of vulnerability and are most likely to get affected. For a lot of these truckers, it’s do or die situation, where they have to choose to work in such dangerous situation to support their families. They cannot afford to sit at home being sole earning member.

In order to support their counterparts in trucking and transportation industry, a lot of truck stops and their employees have volunteered to keep their facilities open and offer their services to the truckers and drivers. However, due to social distancing norms, many of these facilities do not offer in-house dining but only takeaway; they have closed their resting lounges, and only a few offer washroom and shower facilities. The parking areas are also operating at lower capacity, thereby the truck drivers are notable to find proper place to rest and dine. Several trucker, for the sole purpose of avoiding contact with others and curb the spread of the virus, have resorted to pre-packaged food and cooking their meals on the truck itself.

Greg, a truck driver for 22 years, has installed a small fridge and now carries a small stove with him. He said, “This is new for me. I have been working these routes for two decades now, and always depended on Love’s and Petro for a hot meal and shower. But because of this contagious virus, I now cook my own food. It’s an experience on its own, an inconvenient one, but I wish that things would go back to normal soon.” Like Greg, many truckers are slowly adapting to these changes, but still find it difficult to get a decent parking place or a nice bath.

Matrack Incorporation has created a COVID-19 Heat Map that indicates which city, town and county on the truckers’ route is safer for them to take a rest.

How can smaller trucking companies utilise this time?

Due to the dire working conditions that this COVID-19 pandemic has imposed on several small scale businesses, a huge percentage of them have decided to close shop in order to avoid further losses. However, the government has taken various vital steps like Paycheck Protection Program that helps these smaller businesses to sustain and in the least, manage expenses of minimum operation requirements. A lot of small sized trucking companies have however taken this crisis in their stride and are gearing up for the extra work they will be getting post-pandemic. Banks and financial institutions are offering loans at a very less rate which these truckers are using to revamp their business.

Lionel Ross, a trucker from Montana, has invested his saving in new ELD and fleet management system to update and increase the productivity of his 3- truck fleet. He, along with his two sons, are using this time to take up whatever job they can get, and maintain their vehicles. They have also spent time in learning to use their new FMS in order to be ready when the pandemic is defeated and economy in the country goes back to normal, and hopefully, at a faster pace. They also encourage other truckers and local business to work together at reasonable rates so that their community can overcome this crisis together.

The fleet industry needs to be prepared to work overtime, once the businesses resume all over the world. As a lot of industries have had to lay off their employees, trucking industry seems to be a hot place of choice of work and there has been a rise in interest in trucking as a profession. About 25-40k new, licenced and trained drivers are waiting to join, making trucking, the only profession that has created more job opportunities during the crisis.

According to some seasoned and long-time truckers, here are a few things small sized trucking businesses can do during this pandemic, for a better future:

  • Set-up or upgrade their ELD and fleet management system.
  • Evaluate the points of excessive cash outflow in the business, and take steps to minimise it.
  • Expand and upgrade the existing fleet with better vehicle or parts, given that several business loan companies, spare part dealers and others are offering huge discounts.
  • Offer better training and education for the employees that need it.
  • Create a workflow schedule that helps in proper management of fleet operations to deal with congestion due to high demand of services after the pandemic.

As soon as the economy resumes, trucking industry will not only see a rise in job opportunities but income as well. Therefore, small scale trucking businesses can use this opportunity to invest in acquiring more vehicles and drivers to meet with the increasing demand. Sectors that have interdependent relationship with fleets like financing companies, GPS and ELD providers and others have already come up with discounted plans and products.

Matrack Incorporation – the helping hand during pandemic

Matrack is very proud of our truckers and their invaluable services. Being in the fleet management industry for long, we are astonished at the patriotism and passion of our truckers. And in order to support them now and in future, we are also offering our ELD, GPS and FMS at great prices. We at Matrack are fully equipped, with best of technology and experience, to help in setting of these new business, and updating the old ones. Given the importance of social distancing, it would be best for new and current fleets to operate as paper-less and contact-less business. And Matrack can help you with the same.

Our service technicians and customer support staff work 24/7, throughout the year to help you with everything your trucking business needs. For more information on our products and services, or any query related to updating your ELD and FMS, please contact us.

 Share this article with your fellow truckers to let them know the steps they can take during this pandemic to strengthen their businesses. If you have any tips, ideas, or query, please leave a comment below.

New Safety Technologies and Programs for Truck Transportation

Key Takeaways:

  • Benefits of Truck Fleet Upgrades
  • Truck Transportation Safety Stats
  • Helping companies repl ace older trucks in a planned financial manner
  • Safety technologies implemented in trucks
  • Use of Autonomous trucks – survey findings
  • Inference

The Fleet Advantage Survey showed that upgrading to new safety-complied new trucks has drastically reduced the truck crash. The study reveals that 11% of the transportation fleets have saved more than $1 million in crash avoidance by upgrading to advanced safety-complied new trucks. Truck companies that use old and obsolete trucks for their transportation put the company reputation and driver – both at risk. Under the Safety First program, the Fleet Advantage purchases 2017 and older model-year trucks and tractors, leases them back for an interim period. At the same time, the company switches to purchase new state-of-the-art trucks that come with advanced and sophisticated safety technology. 

Benefits of Truck Fleet Upgrades

For companies that transport foods, goods and carriers for grocery companies, retailers and oil-gas companies, the truck fleet upgrade can bring in significant savings and produce zero-emission gas. Greater fuel efficiency and much lower maintenance expense account are what attracts fleet companies to upgrade to newer trucks. Following are the soft benefits of upgrading to advanced safety trucks:

  • Newer trucks are safer

That said, the new trucks and tractors come with the most advanced safety features and technology to keep both the fleet and driver at safety. Use of old and conventional trucks can create a huge expense in terms of maintenance and wear-and-tear. The possibility of truck-crash is also high while using an old truck. 

According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), almost half of two-vehicle crashes from 2012-2014 were rear-ended collisions. Among them, 87% were as a result of drivers not paying attention to the traffic ahead. The 2015 NTSB study found that collision avoidance systems could have been prevented 1700 fatal rear-end collisions annually. 

  • Drivers prefer new trucks.

When it comes to technology operation, everyone likes to get upgraded. Same is the case with drivers. Drivers prefer newer trucks that simplify the driving process and lets the driver drive at ease. Truck fleet upgrades provide a valuable sign-on bonus for companies that need to hire drivers. Installing new trucks will lessen the driver’s motivation to jump to other employers, reducing the fleet operator’s training costs. 

  • Improved customer service

Upgrading to an advanced safety truck also helps improve the customer satisfaction rates as there will be reduced delays and enhanced corporate image. Also, with improved customer service, the company aims at benefitting the drivers, which helps them have a better attitude when making deliveries. As a result, reduced damage to both property and freight is ensured. 

  • Enhanced sustainability

Companies of 2020 aim at building a business with reduced or zero carbon footprint. Each new step of the company is initiated to boost its commitment to sustainability. Switching to a new truck with the latest safety features reduces carbon emissions. Like for instance a 2015 model truck upgrading to a 2020 model truck will have reduced carbon dioxide by 126 metric tons and nitrogen oxides by 12% per year. Newer trucks have lighter components and are powered by an energy-efficient fuel system that reduces hazmat disposal.

Truck Transportation Safety Stats

  • The Safety First Program for truck transportation aims at helping the transportation fleets to upgrade to newer trucks with the latest safety features.
  • The company’s specification experts then work with the fleet to design new trucks for maximum safety, fuel efficiency, lowest maintenance and highest resale values. These include advanced safety features in each specification beyond the standard OEM features. They also work with the OEMs and truck vendors to achieve this at minimum cost. 
  • Over the past ten years, heavy-duty truck fatalities have reached at crash settlements reaching to $20 – $200 million. Stats show that new safety measures and features reduce collisions by 22% and improve government published safety records. 

What Are The Safety technologies implemented in trucks?

  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
  • Collision avoidance 
  • Lane departure warning
  • Front and rear disc brakes
  • Bluetooth
  • Forward-facing cameras
  • In-cab cameras
  • Blindspot mirrors
  • Lane steering correction
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Turn radius improvement
  • The automatic emergency braking system
  • Opt-in for standard OEM spec

Are autonomous trucks the only solution for safety compliant transportation fleets?

Compared to conventional trucks that are old and outdated, the new technology of trucks includes self-driving trucks that doesn’t require a driver to sit inside the cabin to monitor the driving. A techie of good knowledge in handling the control mechanism can operate an autonomous truck even from a remote location or far away from the truck location.

But are these driverless trucks the end to safety trucks? Surely not, but autonomous trucks are on the bucket list to be implemented by fleet companies in the near future. Apart from that, there are many intelligent smart solutions that are seen in the newer models of trucks, that simplify the driver’s job of reporting and driving at emergency times. And when it comes to technological upgradation and solutions in trucks, Matrack is one such company that provides reliable truck tracking solutions to protect your asset, trailer and driver.

Use of Autonomous trucks – survey findings

As per the statistical records and surveys conducted regarding the implementation of autonomous trucks for future transportation needs, the inputs received were of mixed opinions. 

  • 62% of the people were possibly not expecting the use of autonomous trucks for another ten years. 
  • 24% reported with a possible effect of autonomous trucks within 5-7 years.
  • 3% had a mere possibility of implementing autonomous trucks within three years
  • While 0% companies were currently not procuring autonomous trucks.

Inference

Although the pulse on industry demand for electric and autonomous trucks are on the high end, the practicability of implementing electric trucks need another 7-8 years minimum to get them on track. Being a heavy-duty truck that carries heavy goods, it is essential to keep track of the assets, driver and truck safety – in every aspect in mind. Thanks to the modern technological systems of ELD (Electronic Logging Device) and Asset GPS trackers that the fleet managers no longer need to worry about the status of the fleet. 

Matrack – the reliable leaders in asset tracking and fleet management

Not every fleet companies are keen on meeting the needs of their drivers. Providing drivers with modern and sophisticated truck driving solutions, help drivers motivate themselves and work productively towards meeting customer requirements. The Matrack GPS trackers and asset GPS trackers are the best-in-class GPS trackers to monitor your fleet’s status and condition. With updated status and notification system, the Matrack GPS tracker lets both the fleet managers and customers get a clear idea about their assets and ordered items. 

When most of the truck crashes are due to the negligence of the driver in following the traffic and driving rules, Matrack lets the fleet companies install ELD that helps in timely logging of driving log-in time by the driver. The voice-based ELD status changes of the Matrack is FMCSA approved and DOT compliant. Going for an intelligent and automated solution for IFTA compliance saves your hours in filing fuel tax reports and minimizing the costly errors. Thanks to the advanced technological systems inbuilt in Matrack’s mobile tracking solutions that you can conveniently take care of all your trucking needs.  

The Disadvantage Of Autonomous Trucks

Key Takeaways:

  • Loss of driver job security concerns
  • More accidents
  • Unregulated industry
  • Computer malfunctions
  • Expensive
  • Licensing infrastructure not yet in working phase
  • Privacy concerns
  • Forgetting the basics
  • Emergency tackling

It’s getting real, where the age of autonomous vehicles has nearly arrived, and human truckers are coming to an end phase. Autonomous trucks are a cost-saving strategy that companies use to increase productivity with reduced costs. But the fact is these autonomous trucks are comparatively high priced and require a good amount of investment. Even after autonomous driverless vehicles are being discussed as the future of ground delivery, they come with a series of risks that need to be foreseen and appropriately met. Here are some of the cons or disadvantages of using an autonomous truck for your delivery:

Loss of driver jobs

Driving a truck requires a good amount of skill and expertise. The truck drivers of today are the world’s most experienced batch of drivers you can see. Once the autonomous trucks come in place of human truckers, many of these drivers who have been operating the trucks for decades will lose their job. Though the young generation truck drivers are ready to work 24/7 up and down, the skill and experience in operating a truck are still missing in these new generation drivers. 

Security concerns

As autonomous trucks operate on software, it is easy for hackers to hack the software and create vulnerabilities for the delivery, like overriding the controls. Even if an autonomous truck has a person inside the vehicle supervising things, the software hacking cannot be identified by a driver alone.

More accidents 

The current national and state highways aren’t yet optimized for self-driving cars. Driving is an unpredictable job where anything can happen at any time – like a tree falling onto the road, a cat crossing the street, or any other vehicle taking the wrong direction. Hence, the chances of accidents are high. Even if a driverless truck is powered by software, you cannot code any unforeseen odd situations. Good tires are also reasons behind more accidents, One should always read tire reviews before buying them.

Unregulated industry

Although the numbers aren’t accurate, almost 100 truck companies are jumping into the self-driving truck space. This can create a considerable regulation standard in the trucking industry, which needs to be mandatorily followed and formulated by the government authorities. 

Computer malfunctions

Most driverless trucks are made of 30 to 100 computers. A lot of technology and sophistication is involved in the processing and operation of self-driving trucks that can go wrong with a minute error in the coding or computer breakdown. Also, the biggest problem is to create a quick fix for malfunctioned computers, which occurs while on track. 

Expensive

Autonomous trucks are so exciting with its power-pact technology, and this technology is astronomically an expensive deal. The general trend is that technology grows cheaper as long as it is available in plenty. That said, self-driving cars will eventually become something that anyone can afford when it is available in plenty. 

Licensing infrastructure not yet in working phase

Autonomous trucks create a significant challenge for state and federal licensing infrastructure. Though the companies claim the self-driving trucks to be safe, it is up to the public institutions to keep the drivers safe. 

Privacy concerns

Even though the new technological achievements in the trucking industry can make our lives much simpler, it can also put the driver at a high risk of privacy leakage. That said, privacy is one concern that affects most of the trucking companies that implement autonomous trucks. As a self-driving truck works on software and computer, the data relating to the driver, truck, and asset can be easily tracked by the fleet company unless it is installed from a reliable and trustworthy company like Matrack.

Forgetting the basics

No matter how much innovation comes in the driving industry, there’s still a major share of people (drivers) who believe these robotic driving can wipe out the basics of driving from the market. As more and more fleet companies depend on autonomous trucks, the demand for an expert driver comes to an end, which can adversely affect the truck driving sector. The budding drivers will forget the basics which can wash out the truck driving industry as a whole. 

Emergency tackling

Humans are good at tackling any unforeseen crisis or issue, especially in the driving industry. Truck drivers are well known for their exceptional presence of mind to address any emergency crisis that comes their way while on wheels. But an autonomous truck cannot assure the same kind of handling the situation, especially when there is something unusual than the routine. For instance, if there is a route diversion due to any natural calamities or other odd crisis, an individual trucker can redirect through any other shortcuts or alternate routes to reach the destination. But this is not possible with a software-enabled autonomous truck. 

Inference:

Other drawbacks include the technology itself and the legal issues around insurance and legal liability for accidents. There are so many aspects and views to be considered while implementing an autonomous truck for asset delivery. And these unresolved issues may take some time to sort out. Till then, the drivers can enjoy trucking the load and assets. 

Meanwhile, companies are now increasing the urge to install GPS tracking solutions to monitor the truck, driver, and the fleet effectively. Moving on to a step further, the fleet companies have also mandatorily urged for electronic logging devices for truckers to comply with the company working hours and schedule. Be it an asset tracking solution or an electronic logging device, buying from the right company matters as it is concerned with privacy issues.

Thanks to the reliable GPS tracking solutions and ELD from Matrack, that you no longer have to worry about the privacy and software hacks. With satisfied customers, Matrack keeps delivering its promise of quality GPS trackers to monitor the asset, truck, and fleet. This way, both the customer and the fleet companies are benefitted and satisfied with Matrack Solutions. 

California Air Resources Board (CARB) Adopts Advanced Clean Truck Rule Targeting Zero Emission

California marks history again with its new Advanced Clean Truck Policy that aims at increasing the number of clean and zero-emission trucks, replacing the diesel and gasoline trucks. The rule requires truck manufacturers to produce electric trucks or zero-emission trucks as an increasing percentage of their annual California sales from 2024 to 2035. The mission is to sell only zero-emission trucks in California by the year 2045. This rule will also be America’s first vehicle standard for trucks, creating a market for up to 5000,000 electric trucks by 2040. 

Advanced Clear Truck Rule in California – Highlights

Trucks are the largest source of air pollution from vehicles, responsible for 70% of the smog-causing pollution and 80% of carcinogenic diesel soot in California. According to the recent press meet by CARB, the new Advanced Clear Truck Policy will help California meet its climate goals and federal air quality standards. This benefits especially in the Los Angeles region and the San Joaquin Valley, which has the highest level of air pollution. 

The rules’ main highlight is a ZEV sales quota where manufacturers who certify Class 2B through 8 chassis or complete vehicles with combustion engines will be required to sell zero-emission trucks. 

Cleaning up truck emissions is a long and tedious task for the communities near freeways, ports, and freight hubs that massively suffer from harmful air pollution. As many of these communities are from a low-income background, the residents suffer from high asthma rates with an increased risk of cancer. Recently, preliminary research has updated the study saying that counties with higher long-term air pollution levels can also result in higher Covid-19 death rates. 

The following chart shows the percentage of new truck sales by Class that must be zero-emission by the end of 2035.

New truck sales by Class that must be zero-emission by the end of 2035

Model year Class 2B-3 (%) Class 4-8 (%) Class 7-8 tractors (%)
2024 5 9 5
2025 7 11 7
2026 10 13 10
2027 15 20 15
2028 20 30 20
2029 25 40 25
2030 30 50 30
2031 35 55 35
2032 40 60 40
2033 45 65 40
2034 50 70 40
2035 55 75 40

The California air quality and climate targets

When it comes to air pollution and climatic changes, California faces very challenging climatic changes risking the lives of public health. To meet the state’s climate change concerns, the following are the air quality targets:

  • Federal health-based ambient air quality standards 
  • 40% reduction in greenhouse gases (GHG) by 2030.
  • 80% reduction in GHG by 2050 and 
  • 50% reduction in petroleum use by 2030.

To achieve all these targets, there should be a full co-operation from all sectors, including stationary, industrial, residential, and transportation industry, with significant contributions from public agencies, government authorities, private businesses, and individuals. 

Why we need a zero-emission truck as a solution for climate change in California?

The significant share of ozone formation and greenhouse gas emissions are contributed in large numbers by transportation sources and the fossil fuels that power them. In California, they approximately represent 50% of the greenhouse gas emissions, which include emissions from fuel production and more than 95% of the toxic diesel emission. On the other hand, zero-emission trucks or vehicles have no tailpipe emissions and are 2 to 5 times more energy efficient. With reduced dependence on petroleum and diesel emissions, zero-emission vehicles paved the way for cleaner and green environments. 

More about Advanced Clear Truck Regulation 

The Clear Truck Regulation passed by CARB is a holistic approach to eliminating the smog-causing air pollution and associated health concerns risking Californians’ lives. The clear truck rule by CARB has two components: a manufacturing sales target and a reporting requirement. 

  • Zero-emission truck sales – truck manufacturers who certify Class 2b-3 chassis or complete vehicles with combustion engines are required to sell zero-emission trucks. By 2035, the zero-emission truck sales would need to be 55% of class 2b – 3 truck sales, 75% of class 4 – 8 straight truck sales, and 40% truck tractor sales. 
  • Company and fleet reporting – under this requirement, large employers like manufacturers, retailers, brokers, and individuals would be required to report information about shipments and shuttle services. Fleet owners with 50 or more trucks would be required to report about their existing fleet operations. This would help identify future strategies to ensure that fleets purchase available zero-emission vehicles and place them in service where suitable to meet their needs. 

Trucks that are eligible for transition to zero-emission vehicles or electrification

Electric drivetrains are well suited for operating in congested urban areas for stop-and-go driving where conventional engines are least efficient. Battery-powered electric and fuel-cell electric trucks, buses, and vans are already used by fleets that perform local operations. 

The electricity cost to charge a battery-powered electric truck varies depending on how fast you charge, the utility rate, and the time of a day.

Can fleet owners afford to buy zero-emission trucks?

The benefit of switching to zero-emission trucks is that electric trucks have higher upfront costs but lower operating costs than conventional vehicles. Gone are those days where diesel was the only option for fueling the truck. But today, with battery-powered electric trucks, the choice has been much more simplified. The total cost of ownership (TCO) is an essential aspect of the trucking industry. TCO gives the truck owner the ability to estimate whether a truck is a good investment or not. Understanding TCO is vital to the success of the business. Otherwise, the trucker would not be able to make smart, data-backed business decisions.

Elon Musk stated that an electric truck would cost around $1.26 per mile to operate, which is comparatively less than $1.51 per mile for a conventional diesel truck. Also, several states, especially the Northeast, have expressed their support towards this new rule and are planning to adopt it into their programs using the Section 177 of the Clean Air Act. 

Inference:

Today, California took a significant step towards the betterment of green and safe living. If California can do it, then all other nations can supportively join this initiation to protect the public health and nation’s climatic changes as well. Compared to different other approaches, the Advanced Clean Truck Policy is the low-cost solution to deliver immediate ad substantiate greenhouse gas reductions in the city. With the launch of zero-emission vehicles, California can expect to see the improved air quality in the coming years. 

Matrack – The trusted name for reliable GPS tracking solutions

What is more important in a fleet industry is the timely and speed delivery of assets. When interstate shipping during this Covid-19 pandemic, it is hard to ensure whether your truck drivers and assets are safe. A vehicle tracking solution in trucks is a reliable solution to get notified by the progress in the shipment. But the driver privacy concerns hinder the installation procedure. Whether it’s a conventional truck for asset transportation or need to make sure that your driver is safe in the emergency crisis, Matrack GPS vehicle tracking solutions are of great help and can be installed even in electric trucks. 

Rather than installing a cheap and illegal fleet management software can end you in privacy attacks and adverse effects, which is why buying a legal and trusted vehicle tracking software from Matrack is best recommended. This way, you can have a team of reliable and efficient truck drivers who bring in productive results with the speedy delivery of assets. The new fleet GPS tracking software by Matrack monitors your fleet by reducing the costs and increasing revenue. Matrack mobile asset tracking software takes control of your fleet management irrespective of the company size and industry. 

The New Generation Driverless Trucks

Key Takeaways:

  • Introduction Driving a heavy-duty truck is a skilled profession
  • Self-driving trucks will need a tech-savvy driver in the cab
  • Need for implementing self-driving trucks
  • Benefits of autonomous vehicles for fleet companies:
  • Impact of Automation in trucking
  • Inference
  • Matrack – the leading name for innovated tracking solutions

Introduction

The futuristic innovation in driverless vehicles has been on the trend, with truck manufacturers expecting increased sales in the coming years. Manufacturers like Daimler, Volvo, Tesla, and Otto have developed and are testing driverless trucks. With numerous arguments and debates going on, suggesting that autonomous vehicles could effectively eliminate the truck driving profession, fleet companies are in strategic plans to implement automated vehicles for their logistics business. But how effective could a robotic truck be? Keep reading further to know more.

What is a self-driving truck or an autonomous truck?

Self-driving trucks are trucks that requires no human to drive it. Self-driving trucks are also known as autonomous trucks or robo trucks. Trucking companies are already testing the driverless vehicles in the public roads in America.

Driving a heavy-duty truck is a skilled profession

Every job has its respect and value. Driving a heavy-duty truck requires skill and intuition, especially when you are driving on a long-distance highway. Many industry experts and truck developers expect that self-driving vehicles will soon be able to operate autonomously on national roads. Still, it will take far longer or several decades to launch driverless trucks in traffic-jammed streets with unexpected challenges. 

If you have driven a heavy-duty truck, you will know how challenging it is. Can an artificial intelligence act like humans and negotiate construction zones, mountain passes, or bad weather? What happens if the tyre blows out. Humans are very good at tackling a situation and responding immediately. But computers, on the other hand, need to be coded well to handle all odd cases. But the developers claim a solution for that as well. 

Self-driving trucks will need a tech-savvy driver in the cab

Even after arguments and oppositions for autonomous vehicles are going on, most experts agree that the level of automated trucks can handle even the abnormal situations, provided a tech-savvy driver is monitoring the control. For instance, a Level 4 autonomous vehicle, which could be rolled out commercially in the next 3 or 4 years, can drive in most situations but need a human to take the wheel in the event of bad weather or construction. 

Need for implementing self-driving trucks 

Truck driving is not an easy job and requires a good amount of experience and skill. With a workforce aging out to retire in the coming years, the trucking industry faces a major problem of the diminished number of skilled drivers in the sector. Here are some of the biggest causes that urge for the need for driverless trucks:

  • Drivers aging out – According to the American Transportation Research Institute, today’s truck drivers are nearing the age of retirement in the next 5-10 years, which cannot be replaced by young drivers, as there is a shortage of skilled drivers in the industry.
  • Problematic working conditions – not everyone likes to work for a job that requires you to work 24/7 and stay away from your family and friends. Adding to that, you can also not take breaks and work as it can affect your delivery targets and time frame. Due to this, truck drivers also face health risks such as lack of sleep, body and neck pain, unhealthy eating habits, lack of exercise, and other physical challenges.
  • Rules and regulations – a truck driver have certain responsibilities that need to be strictly followed. These include GPS tracking solutions, asset tracking devices, Electronic logging devices, etc. Many drivers struggle to meet the requirements of the fleet companies. These rules are intended to protect all drivers on the road, amidst any emergency crisis. 

Benefits of autonomous vehicles for fleet companies:

Some fleet companies have started taking self-driving vehicles on tracks and even on open highways. Compared to the conventional truck driving, autonomous truck driving promises to bring greater efficiency to the trucking market. following are the advantages of self-driving trucks:

  • Autonomous trucks are best suited to use during off-peak hours, where there is comparatively les traffic in the road. It also helps to reduce traffic jam caused by heavy-duty vehicles while on the track.
  • One of the best things about driverless trucks is that they don’t need to take breaks and rest like human truckers due to drowsiness and sleepiness, causing truck accidents. 
  • When it comes to safety, self-driving vehicles bring in many safety features. Every year, hundreds of trucks are involved in crashes and accidents, resulting in thousands of deaths and injuries. But thanks to the advanced technology in autonomous trucks that they can reduce the number of accidents. This is because the drivers don’t get easily tired in a driverless vehicle and travel during the least busy times of the day. With the help of a tech-savvy driver, he can control and manage any unforeseen crisis or situation. 

Impact of Automation in the trucking industry – 4 ways that likely automation changes the trucking sector

  • Fleet companies are keen on launching self-driving trucks for long-distance asset transportation, especially on the highway. Even though driverless vehicles can be used for long-distance highway driving, humans will be needed to handle many non-driving tasks like fuelling, inspections, paperwork, loading/unloading, coupling tractors, and trailers. 
  • Automation in trucks can replace most non-specialized long-distance drivers losing around 294,000 driver jobs. The long-distance drivers who do heavy-duty vehicle driving along with loading and other combined jobs know nothing more than driving, hence making it vulnerable to automation. This means, up to 51,000 less-than-truckload drivers are at risk, in addition to 32,000 parcel drivers. 
  • Splitting trucking into halfway driving and halfway autonomous driving will encourage the digitization of freight matching with the potential for intense pressure of driver earnings. Breaking trips between autonomous trucks and human driving trucks helps drivers go back home each night, simplifying the overload matching problems. 

Inference:

A driverless heavy-duty vehicle on highways will not create much of a problem unless the truck is driving through a congested traffic zone area. And hence it doesn’t require a driver in the vehicle. A techy driver who has pretty good knowledge in controlling the driving system can control the whole driving mechanism from a remote location far away from the truck. Instead of having a driver behind the wheels, there comes controlling the truck like playing a video game. While some fleet companies are developing self-driving trucks that would need a driver’s assistance in some aspect, the need for skilled drivers would go down drastically in the coming years. 

Matrack – The leading name for innovated tracking solutions in the trucking industry

As long as there is a need for groceries and supermarket goods, the fleet industry keeps booming, and the demand for GPS tracking solutions increases. Installing reliable and privacy-secured GPS solutions are essential. With the urge for driver security and tracking asset tracking solutions, installing from a reputable company like Matrack simplifies your asset tracking job. Also, the company’s ELD book is a big hit that allows for entries related to a driver’s record of duty status to comply with the hours of service compliance. The Matrack’s ELD logbook is DOT compliant and listed in FMCSA’s ELD approved list. Its voice recognition feature helps drivers update their status changes. Also, the GPS tracking solutions from Matrack let the fleet managers know where the exact location and time of the asset’s status.