The Stakes of a Data-Driven Industry
Trucking is an industry that has always gone by the numbers. From drivers counting miles to managers working to juggle expenses effectively, everyone in the freight transportation industry knows the importance of working according to the data.
Even if it doesn’t always relate to the bottom line, data has a bigger role than ever in freight transportation. With the telecommunications and digital revolution, companies have been using everything from cloud-based platforms to decentralized market applications to telematic solutions in their quest to improve the efficiency of their operation.
Data has come from multiple sources with the trucking industry. Carriers and administrators have taken notice, using this wealth of information to make better logistical and managerial decisions. Everything from the ELDs which are now inside many commercial trucks to the trucking apps listing all available trucks in an area provide statistical data for trucking companies to use.
Even driverless trucks can benefit from having a larger amount of information available. For example, machine learning relies on processing information and making new decisions accordingly. This may prove to be a major factor in helping autonomous technology develop quickly, efficiently, and safely. Processing information quickly and adjusting in an appropriate manner means driverless trucks will be a reality sooner.
This isn’t the only controversial topic brought into the spotlight thanks to modern data-collection capabilities. One of the main objections to the upcoming ELD mandate was that it was too intrusive and violated the privacy of truck drivers. Some drivers have also made a similar argument against an improved approach to drug testing utilizing hair follicles. While the reasoning behind the ELD process is that it makes drivers’ data vulnerable, the qualm many have with hair tests is that they reveal information about a driver’s life up to six-months prior.
The main protest about big-data trends in trucking is that the existing of such information invites privacy violations and data theft. While there have been concerns about this phenomenon in trucking, it hasn’t manifested to a point of being a large issue yet.
As a more technical approach is taken with the freight industry and data becomes even more important, it will become even more interesting to see the side effects.