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How Telsa’s self-driving truck scheme can dump human drivers

Written by: Alex Davies

 

ELON MUSK’S GRAND plan of moving beyond passenger cars to truly revolutionize transportation just got a bit grander. In addition to developing an electric 18-wheeler that Tesla plans to unveil next month, Musk wants to make the thing drive itself.

Tesla is working with Nevada authorities to begin testing a robo-rig prototype at some point in the not-too-distant future. “Our primary goal is the ability to operate our prototype test trucks in a continuous manner across the state line and within the States of Nevada and California in a platooning and/or Autonomous mode without having a person in the vehicle,” Tesla’s Nasser Zamani told officials with the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles, according to Reuters.
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Could this new app improve your health on the road?

LONDON, Ont. –Healthy Trucker announced today that the Healthy Fleet Challenge is returning on January 1. The new challenge will be based in their mobile app called Healthy Team, and integrates aspects from all of their previous challenges, including step tracking.

Andrea Morley, lead nutritionist and health coach at Healthy Trucker explained: “Going forward, we wanted to add more value to participants by creating a community for them to connect, learn, and share throughout their health journeys. We launched the Healthy Team app at the beginning of 2017, which was a great way to educate and motivate participants on healthy living, but until now it lacked the ability to track steps. We are proud to announce that the Healthy Fleet Challenge now includes step tracking as part of the app so that participants can track all aspects of their nutrition and physical activity.”

The app also includes daily educational posts from Andrea, which include recipes, videos, workouts, and more. Participants share their meals and workouts, and can cheer each other on, ask for advice, and monitor their progress all within the app.

Fleets create teams by signing up their company, which then allows any and all of their drivers and staff to download and use the app as they work towards their health and wellness goals. Participants are awarded points for their steps, meal & exercise posts, and more in order to climb the leaderboard individually and as a team.

The cost to the fleet? Free! Simply offer up a prize to give away to a team member at the end of the challenge. In the past, fleets have offered company merchandise, gift cards to healthy restaurants, new Fitbits, and/or a paid day off.

To sign up your company, e-mail info@healthyfleet.com with your logo and what prize your company will be giving away at the end of the challenge.

Source: TruckNews, https://www.trucknews.com/transportation/healthy-fleet-challenge-returns-jan-1/1003081428/

How analytics can save you money

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – “Do you wanna make more money?” That was how Brian Abel, freight network engineer with KSM Transport Advisors, introduced himself before a Surface Transportation Summit session on improving the profitability of your trucking business.

 

The key to achieving this, Abel contended, is by leveraging analytics. “Carriers for years have sought a metric that could best capture potential profitability,” he explained. His firm developed a concept called “yield,” which is essentially the margin per day of a fleet’s entire network. “As yield goes up, operating ratio goes down,” Abel explained. “The concept of yield creates a common language to allow carriers to analyze freight using proven mathematics.”

The metric measures the time and cost to deliver a load, beginning with the empty call following the previous delivery. Any unplanned time is considered delay, which gives the fleet insight into how long it actually takes to deliver a load compared to its expectations. It also considers geography and helps fleets to drill down on the most – and least – lucrative lanes, loads, and customers.

 

These analytics also allow fleets to better understand backhaul requirements, and whether they’re charging appropriately. Mike Buck, president, MCB Fleet Management Consulting, spoke to how improving maintenance practices can also improve a fleet’s profitability. A good fleet maintenance program needs rigorous inspection processes, he noted, so all technicians are following the same workflow.

 

Source: TruckNews; https://www.trucknews.com/business-management/analytics-maintenance-keys-trucking-profitability/1003081461/

How long before self-driving trucks are a reality?

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – The technology for modern-day society to look like an episode of The Jetsons is here, but the infrastructure to support that kind of life, isn’t. That was the consensus of the future of trucking panel at this year’s Surface Transportation Summit, who focused on technology at the October 11 event.

By far, the most exciting and “sexy” technology topic in the world of trucking today is self-driving vehicles. And though the industry has proven the ability for a truck to roll down the highway without human intervention is possible, doesn’t mean it’s going to happen in the near future, panelists agreed.

 

“The technology is there today to run autonomous vehicles,” Kudla said likening the technology to modern-day airlines. “I’ve used this analogy before…but 99% of an airplane flight is done by a computer. But the day a pilot isn’t in it, I’m not getting on that plane. Every one of the major OEMs has trucks running autonomously, but to have trucks on the road without drivers in them concerns me. And I don’t know if our governments or infrastructure will ever let that happen.”

Ritchie Huang, manager of engineering and safety in the compliance and regulatory affairs division at Daimler Trucks North America, agreed saying Daimler has similar views.

“From the Daimler perspective, we don’t see the driver being out of the picture for a very, very long time,” he said. “There is a need for the driver. You hear a lot of hype, and press about it, but we don’t believe that these self-driving trucks or driverless trucks will be here any time soon. The reason being there is not enough safety data out there.”

Source: TruckNews, https://www.trucknews.com/transportation/panel-discusses-future-trucking-technology/1003081465/