The transportation industry is ripe for disruption much sooner than expected. It might be a while until we get fully automated, self-driving cars, but that doesn't mean that emerging technology can't make an impact -- especially in traditional industries.
My interest in trucks started at a young age and, probably similar to many kids, the sheer marvel of this huge steel machine which knows no opposition, roaring in its every motion from acceleration to the unmistakable sound of its breaks, trucks are somewhat of a marvel in themselves.
But these beasts go beyond just beauty and brawn, and unlike the 1980s Stalone classic 'Over the Top', modern transportation technology has turned the management of trucks and transportation towards big data to solve many of the everyday challenges Stalone would have faced when not arm wrestling in some dusty bar.
Companies are using big data to revolutionize just about every sector - HR, finance, telecommunications, healthcare, education, and more. In fact, 53% of companies in 2017 adopted big data, compared to only 17% in 2015. That's a massive difference in a short two years. Why should the transportation sector be any different?
One particularly intriguing company is J. J. Keller & Associates. They've been in the business for over 60 years and serve 90% of Fortune 1000 companies. Most importantly, the company has found several ways to bring innovation to this age-old industry. They're using big data, mobile technology, and automation to radically improve fleet management. Here's a few ways that they're changing the game:
Simplifying Big Data
J. J. Keller uses electronic logging to capture endless pages of data. Fleets can record just about anything imaginable - time spent driving, gas mileage, deliveries, hours worked, and much more. It can be a headache trying to sift through all this information and make sense of it.
To accomplish this requires an ELog system to streamline and maintain vast amounts of information. It manages duplicates and presents everything in an easy-to-read and digestible format. Big data, by definition, is far too much for traditional data processors to handle. Having a fast and simple solution can help take away the stress associated with big data.
Fuel Tax Reporting
I've written before about how many freelancers take their gas mileage for granted. In fact, freelancers who do Uber and Lyft for a living can expect to save $6,500 a year once they start tracking their fuel usage. Why should businesses be any different?
Thanks to automated gas mileage reporting, J.J. Keller can save companies thousands of dollars in taxes each year. What's even better is that they save businesses the trouble of compiling and filing reports, thus freeing up valuable time and resources.
One of the app's most innovative features is how it uses real-time information to provide feedback to drivers. It will help pinpoint idle time, speeding, and out of route miles to ensure safety and better driving techniques.
Even the little differences add up to spectacular results. For example, UPS began minimizing left turns in their routes. This move (as tested on Mythbusters) saves them 10 million gallons of fuel each year. It's also far safer - 61% of crashes involve left turns, while only 3.1% involve right turns.
Ever made the switch from Windows to Mac? Android to Apple? You've probably realized how frustrating it is to adapt to a new device. J. J. Keller's ELDs (electronic logging devices) are compatible with devices that many drivers already use. This eliminates the need for costly hardware installation and a difficult learning curve.
Despite fear of robots taking our jobs, technology has a lot to offer. Transportation jobs have existed for what seems like forever. It's about time they were due for an upgrade.