Advances in safety technology, automation, and telecommunication are increasing the number of younger truck drivers that are entering the trucking industry. Younger drivers tend to be more engaged with user-friendly technologies, so the adoption of driver-assist systems and state-of-the-art communications is a draw for young recruits interested in trucking.
The trucking industry is facing a severe shortage of qualified drivers. According to the American Trucking Research Institute (ATRI), 890,000 truck drivers will be needed over the next decade to maintain the existing workforce. Truck industry stakeholders have identified the importance of technology both as a safety device but also a recruitment tool.
The modernization of the trucking industry is capturing a younger demographic that could relieve the projected driver shortage. Many of the younger people entering the trucking workforce enjoy technology. They tend to be eager to learn emerging technologies and like working with computers. Increasing technological progress in the trucking industry is seen as making the job easier and more fulfilling for newcomers. Despite fears of human driving jobs being replaced by robots and connected technology, drivers will remain essential to the trucking industry as autonomous features on trucks are adopted.
Some of the issues that deter potential drivers from entering the field are the long periods of time away from home and salary levels. Technological advances that been made that improve planning, load optimization, and routing, which increases the time the driver is at home and raises wages. Vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication are examples of safety-centric technological applications that are being developed at lightning speed to attract new drivers to the trucking workforce. Technology is being applied to the trucking industry in order to improve efficiency and safety, as well as a recruitment tool for younger drivers.
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