The future is Autonomous in Fleet Management
Autonomous vehicles are an asset to sci-fi movies and books for a long time, but we seem to be a step closer to a reality of driverless vehicles every day. However, is autonomy for fleet management businesses the way forward?
What is Autonomy?
Cambridge Dictionary defines autonomy as the capability to make your own choices without anyone else’. This implies that an autonomous vehicle, without a driver, is one that governs itself.
Also regarded driver-less or self-driving vehicles, there is no need for an autonomous vehicle to guide itself in the driver’s seat. Even though once considered a matter of futuristic science fiction films, driverless vehicles are becoming increasingly popular and in the future, they look to be heavily involved in the fleet industry.
A report on legal issues and global activities related to the transition to driver-less trucks was published by the International Transport Forum (ITF) earlier this year. While technology and innovation are moving at a rapid pace, changes in regulatory and infrastructure will indeed lag behind a few years.
We might still be a fair way from a future where only artificial intelligence (AI) will control trucks and ships. However, preparing for the coming years which will be more dependent on autonomous vehicles must remain a priority for companies employing vast fleets around multiple geographic regions. For players depending on fleet management in the transportation and logistics industry, failure to plan for this eventual inevitability would be a mistake.
The Effect of Autonomy
The autonomy in fleet companies is the way forward for road safety. Studies have found that 90 percent of road accidents are caused by human error, so removing that element can reduce the number of accidents per year. Companies are beginning to look at autonomous car elements that might benefit those who need safety regulations and rules. One characteristic they examined is autonomous emergency deceleration, which experts believe can save 6,700 lives and reduce accidents in Europe by more than 420,000 over the next decade.
Autonomous emergency braking, in short, known as AEB, would be perfect for those working in the fleet management dependent companies. For all drivers working for a fleet company, fewer accidents imply an increase in safety. In terms of car harm and repairs, it would also save businesses a lot of cash. Other independent characteristics include line-keeping assistance, collision avoidance, and blind-spot intervention, all of which are helpful for a fleet owner who has to follow laws and regulations as part of the vehicle.
Not planning for the arrival of autonomous vehicles in the fleet management industry would be a mistake, even though the world of driverless cars and trucks seems like not away. People should be preparing for a future involving autonomous vehicle properties, as tests have already been carried out.
The Real Benefits for Drivers
This is directly related to those areas where I see drivers’ real benefits. For sure, autonomous technology will help drivers. Technological advances will also demand significant safety— drivers still need to be alert, but with areas such as speed, acceleration, and brake controlled by automation with zero reaction time, road safety is increased significantly.
Think of pilots in the aircraft industry. While computers perform some of the take-off and landing duties autonomously, the pilot’s ability and knowledge is still very much needed. Instead of replacing them, the technology operates with the human crew. And this will be how independent truck driving will work for a long time to come.
Furthermore, I foresee a future in which we can link two or more trucks using communication technology of vehicle-to-vehicle, to create a so-called “truck train” or platoon capable of operating as a separate unit. This technology can make the sector safer and more effective as a single driver, supported by Artificial intelligence, which will be able to transport multiple truckloads smoothly.
The Bad Side
Autonomy in vehicles, like any modern technology, has its downsides. Autonomous vehicles will hinder insurance policies and covering this type of vehicle will most likely be expensive. While driver-less vehicles were tested on the highways, they are not fully investigated or tested as of now.
While accidents are mostly caused by human error, it is not always the fault of the driver. An accident could happen, for instance, because a pedestrian went out into the street unexpectedly or a rider did not check back twice before making a turn–all these are human mistakes too. Experts, therefore, recommend that while the vehicle is independent and things are regulated internally, there are no internal variables. Cyclists or pedestrians are not subjects of autonomy, so they are equally probable to create the human mistake, but rather in front of an autonomous vehicle.
Whether you are a fan of autonomous vehicles or not, shortly they’ll appear on our highways. Now, it seems best to bring an autonomous vehicle’s most promising characteristics and combine them with a responsible driver to see a safe and efficient performance on the roads.
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