Transportation technology could prevent up to 80% of road traffic accidents, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. While this is great news for businesses that rely heavily on transport to keep their businesses afloat, transportation technology has the potential to do even greater things for companies, including increasing financial turnover and reducing costs.
Some of the biggest and most exciting transportation technology looks set to make its mark in 2020, and this is how it will do just that.
Self-driving trucks could become a common sight on the roads in 2020 after Plus.ai’s very first self-driving freight truck successfully made a 41-hour journey to complete a delivery. In total, the truck covered 2,800 miles using the company’s SLAM technology before delivering 4,000 pounds of butter. The trip was such a triumph that experts now predict that self-driving freight trucks will be more prevalent on the roads than self-driving cars.
For businesses, self-driving trucks promise to bring a multitude of benefits. A recent study from self-driving truck business TuSimple found that autonomous trucks use at least 10% less fuel than gas-powered ones, which demonstrates what a brilliant cost-cutting tool they are for businesses.
This is great news for those in the industry as savings can be used to obtain the best Commercial Truckers insurance available. Autonomous freight trucks will also increase profit margins for businesses in the food and drink trades. It’s predicted that transit times in a self-driving truck drop by as much as 50%, meaning goods will get to their required destination faster and the window to sell the item lengthens.
Aircraft goes autonomous
It’s not just road transport that’s going autonomous in 2020 as Skyryse, an air mobility company with the aim of making air transport more accessible, plans to install autonomous technology in existing aircraft.
By doing this they will eliminate the cost of needing to build new specialist aircraft. As the Skyryse Flight Stack involves controls being used to determine whether to fully automate a flight or to provide assistance to the pilot for safety purposes, a standard aircraft will instantly become a multifunctional mode of transport.
Even businesses that don’t yet rely on air transport should be excited by this development as Skyryse’s long-term goal is to reduce congestion and traffic build-up in some of the biggest cities across the world.
For example, in Los Angeles drivers spend 102 hours sitting in traffic annually, and this costs the city $19 billion. Whether it’s due to employees being late into work, goods being delayed, or drivers unable to make scheduled deliveries, businesses are losing out financially. But when more traffic takes to the skies, it means roads are more accessible and it opens up a potential new transportation channel for certain corporations.
Technology company Trimble unveiled a whole host of transportation technology products at their conference in October 2019, and they look set to excite the industry in 2020. The company’s Driver Retention Analytics is particularly advantageous for businesses as it predicts factors that will make a driver voluntarily leave their role.
From there, businesses can take action to try to retain the driver rather than losing them. Even retaining just one driver is worthwhile as it costs between $5,000 and $10,000 to replace a driver, so the cost-benefit is substantial.
Drivers often leave a fleet due to them being unhappy with the vehicle they have to drive. Trimble’s technology is customizable and will advise on how best to retain the driver that’s at risk of being lost if the vehicle is an issue.
Simple steps such as improving the safety of a fleet vehicle by installing skid steer tracks can make all the difference to a driver. Plus, it makes business sense to do this as such a device ensures that a company’s quality of work isn’t compromised.
A high-speed Hyperloop transportation technology system looks set to progress substantially over the coming year. In December 2019, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HyperloopTT) revealed the results of their 18-month study.
The study proposes that a capsule transportation system that travels at speeds of up to 760 mph to connect Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Chicago could be underway as soon as 2023, on the condition that their upcoming environmental impact study shows promising results.
Hyperloop predicts that the speedy loop will cut traffic in the three areas highlighted by as much as 48%. Should the system prove successful, then similar transportation technology is bound to crop up in highly-congested countries all over the world.
This will make day-to-day critical business tasks such as meetings, job interviews, and multi-site business management more efficient. Businesses will also attract more diverse candidates for job vacancies. The majority of workers say they’re not prepared to travel more than 30 miles for their ideal job, but with a transportation system capable of taking workers from A to B in minutes, this number is sure to rise substantially.
29% of employees are regularly late for work, according to CareerBuilder. One reason for this is due to the sheer amount of traffic on the roads. The North Florida Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) has spent 15 years trying to combat this problem with technology and have had great success.
Infrared sensors and Bluetooth receivers are dotted along stretches of highways in the area and send real-time data to commuters via a traffic app. The information allows commuters to take the quickest route to work and avoid congested roads and accident spots, thus reducing the likelihood of arriving to work late.
TPO’s transport technology provided a combined saving of $3.1 billion during 2018, so if more towns and cities adopt similar technology in 2020, the number of hours lost annually due to employee lateness will drop dramatically.
Transportation technology looks set to get bigger and better in 2020 due to multiple innovative companies testing, trialing, and utilizing the latest technological advancements. As a result of these developments, businesses will find their profit margins grow, their staff retention improves, and goods transportation taking less time than ever.
Amy Fletcher is a freelance writer and researcher with a keen interest in business management. In recent years she has written for various online magazines, journals, and blogs. When she's not writing she enjoys long walks with her daughter and two dogs.