As the transportation industry adapts to a digital world, owner-operators to large fleets are all grappling with how to adopt new technology.
“There are more technology choices than ever. Bob’s trucking, Sue’s trucking, Mario’s trucking are hearing from nine million different sources, trying to sort that out,” said industry consultant Randy Mullett of Mullett Strategies during Transparency19 on May 8.
Matt McLelland, innovation strategist at Covenant Transport (NYSE: CVTI) and Mario Pawlowski, CEO of iTrucker.com, joined Mullett in a discussion with FreightWaves Associate Editor John Paul Hampstead about how technology trends are affecting the transportation industry.
The wide-ranging conversation included the current struggles among some owner-operators to adapt to electronic logging devices (ELDs), to the ultimate implications of 5G wireless technology and green trucking.
“If drivers and small fleet owners don’t adapt, they are going to be out of business,” said Pawlowski, whose company provides ELDs and other tech solutions.
At Covenant, McLelland is tasked with identifying emerging technology and working with executives to incorporate it into the fleet.
“We’re figuring it out. We don’t have a lab or a testing facility,” McLelland said.
The company will be taking delivery on a 2020 Freightliner Cascadia, which includes Level 2 automation, largely covering safety features.
The adoption of 5G networks may not deliver any immediate benefits to the industry. But it will open the door to bigger breakthroughs in technology because of the additional bandwidth.
“That may translate into someone who can drive a truck with a joystick sitting in a room somewhere,” Mullett said.