Once an industry at a standstill with little change, the trucking industry is now in the mist of major transformation. What’s fueling this change? The answer is a combination of factors. New technology and new regulations are changing the landscape of the trucking industry.

Almost every piece of technology today can improve once it leaves the factory, and truck engines are no exception. Thanks to software updates, engines can be recalibrated and improved at a moment’s notice. But that’s not all. Soon engines will be able to be reprogrammed over-the-air, which could better calibrate an engine for a specific type of terrain on the fly.

Keeping track of potential issues with any truck is also easier thanks to remote diagnostic systems. Health reports can be quickly created that analyze just about every aspect of a truck, allowing potential problems to be easily identified before they become larger issues. Truck health reports should cut down on repair time and costs in the future.

New industry regulations are forcing the industry to reform. The EPA had set forth a new set of standards due to green consciousness. The goal is to reduce toxic emissions and ramp up fuel efficiency. The manner in which trucks are manufactured is now regulated by the EPA. From 2018 and beyond, trucks must increase fuel efficiency by a minimum of one-third. These changes are also projected to reduce greenhouse gases by one billion tons. Truck manufacturers are already jumping onboard with designing and adding rolling-resistant tires to its fleets. Rolling-resistant tires are reported to improve fuel efficiency by 54 percent.

Computerization and digital technology has changed everything in the trucking industry. As a matter, it’s been the strongest influence. Sensors and GPS tracking systems allow distribution professionals to tell how well trucks are performing. Prognostics system monitor the trucks’ performance and alert drivers of potential problems and failures. New apps eliminate the need for freight brokers and make logistics much more efficient. Other electronic developments include increased power in electrical systems, remote-controlled outside mirrors and checks on driver drowsiness. Some trucks even have drivetrains fitted with a computerized brain that senses when more power is required to climb a hill, radar-based collision avoidance systems and easy-to-shift systems. Communication systems that send signals from the truck to satellites in space and back to fleet headquarters are perhaps the most advanced development in this area. These systems assist in tracking the load and its expected time delivery.

All around, it’s technology and regulations that continue to drive the trucking industry towards a complete reformation. We can’t wait to see what the future holds.