AI in the Trucking Industry
Artificial intelligence technology known as AI is the intelligence demonstrated by machines. Through AI technology computer programs are able to learn and mock the actions of humans. It mimics characteristics such as the ability to reason, discover meaning, and learn from experience. AI is capable of performing tasks intelligently without direct instructions. Although AI has been around since the 1950s, technological advancement has made it grow in popularity today.
AI today is said to reduce human error and can be seen all around us. If you are using systems like Siri, or Alexa, you’ve used AI. If you have used a GPS system, you’ve used AI. And if ever been on a website and used their chat system, you’ve used AI. AI is used across many domains and industries including but limited to advertising, healthcare, retail and e-commerce, financing, manufacturing and trucking and transportation.
How AI is Changing the Trucking Industry
The transportation industry is forever changing and the advancement of AI technology can be credited for many of those changes, especially within the trucking sector. Below we will explore some of the present and future changes that AI has contributed.
AI and Back Office Automation
Back-office operations are vital to the trucking and logistics industry. AI has taken the sector to another level by improving the speed and accuracy of how many back-offices operate. Even with enough training, human error can still happen. AI ultimately saves time and money, increases productivity and reduces human errors.
For example, there are now robotic machines that can handle everyday tasks like managing cargo, sorting inventory and predictive analytics. Machine learning is helping shipping companies plan ahead by analyzing patterns of past shipping seasons. Trucking companies can consume more data in a shorter amount of time.
In some trucking companies, AI has completely automated the brokering process by doing things like basic load-to-driver matching. AI is especially beneficial to the smaller truck companies and owner-operators because they don’t have to stress about having the manpower to complete certain responsibilities. This allows them time to focus on growing their business, giving the customer great service and making money.
AI On the Road
Not only has AI changed the way back-office operates, but it has also changed life on the road. When you mention the term AI, people tend to think of autonomous trucks also known as self-driving trucks. While companies like Tesla and Uber are leading the development of self-driving cars, AI is present on the roads today.
We can all agree that life on the road has been made much easier with the help of GPS systems. The GPS systems today can do things like finding shorter routes, detect accidents and hazards on the roads and stop drivers from speeding all in real-time. Truck drivers spend hours on the road, daily and with the advancements of AI, there are trucks powered with systems such as lane-keeping assistance, cruise control and collision avoidance systems.
The Future of AI in Trucking
With trucking being a massive part of the logistics and transportation industry, people are curious to know what the future of AI and machine learning means for them. As more trucking companies adopt new ways of operating, AI will continue to affect both truckers and owners.
AI will continue to innovate the way truckers navigate on the road, how they manage workflow and regulator operations. While AI is advancing, it can’t do it all. The human touch is still needed and still at the top of the chain. While many people in the trucking industry are embracing AI, others have concerns.
For Truck Drivers
With the trucking industry in the midst of a driver shortage, truck drivers worry that they will lose their jobs at the hands of AI. Currently, AI still relies on human knowledge to function. Even self-driving cars currently need a human operating them for safety measures. Let’s say autonomous cars do take over; truck drivers still do more than just drive trucks. Just as equipment that does heavy-lifting still needs a human behind it. Truck drivers still have the right to be concerned as AI continues to evolve.
For the owners of a trucking company, life with AI will continue to make things easier. The software advances that AI creates will continue to innovate day-to-day operations. From forecasting to loading and unloading cargo, AI has alleviated the typical challenges owners face. Although AI has many advantages, naturally there are concerns as well. The cost of integrating AI is still a major barrier for many truck company owners throughout the world. With AI being so expensive, third-world counties may not be able to implement AI. AI isn’t a simple computer system you plugin; it requires profound technical expertise so training will also be a cost factor.
What are the challenges and ethical considerations associated with AI implementation in the trucking industry?
AI implementation in the trucking industry presents several challenges and ethical considerations that require careful attention to ensure responsible and safe integration.
One significant challenge is related to data privacy and security. As AI relies on collecting and analyzing large volumes of data, it is crucial to establish measures that protect sensitive information and prevent unauthorized access or misuse. Implementing robust cybersecurity mechanisms, such as data encryption and strict data governance policies, becomes essential for maintaining the privacy and integrity of driver and operational data.
The advent of AI-powered trucks also raises important questions regarding liability and legal implications. With the increasing autonomy of trucks, determining accountability in the event of accidents becomes complex. Addressing these concerns requires the establishment of clear regulations and a well-defined legal framework. Resolving these issues will help ensure a smooth transition into a future with autonomous trucks and minimize disputes over liability.
The integration of AI in the trucking industry also has significant implications for the human workforce. As automation increases, there is a need to manage the transition for truck drivers whose roles may evolve or even be replaced. Supporting retraining programs that equip drivers with skills needed in an AI-driven industry and facilitating job transitions is vital. Moreover, it is essential to acknowledge and address potential socio-economic impacts, such as job displacement, to ensure a smooth and fair transition for the human workforce.
Staying Ready for AI
One of the biggest factors to consider when implementing AI is the operational cost. EZ Freight Factoring can help you increase your cash flow through freight factoring. Our trucking factoring services can help you obtain the necessary cash for fuel, insurance, repairs, equipment, and all your on-the-road expenses today.