Recently, a group of former employees from Tesla, Google, and Apple has brought self-driving technology to trucks.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, nearly 4.3 million trucks are carrying goods and around 70% of cargo are moved by trucks alone in U.S. interstate.
Although, just 5.6% of all U.S. miles are driven by trucks, it caused 9.5% of all driving fatalities, as per the data from the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Trucks pose safety issues to drivers on the road and the American Trucking Association has voiced concerns over the growing driver shortage. That is what, Otto needs to develop.
Otto co-founders Anthony Levandowski and Lior Ron said –
“We are developing a suite of sensors, software and truck enhancements coming together in a product that can be quickly outfitted on existing trucks.”
Otto said that it is testing the technology on highways and recently, it completed a self-directed demo on a public highway. The co-founder wants to enhance the capabilities of the Otto truck by gathering safety data to show its advantages, and also brings this technology to every corner of the U.S. highway system.
Autonomous trucks could permit drivers to take rest during the journey. It also minimizes the journey time as trucks wouldn’t be required to stop. Driverless trucks have also got attention from some of the major automakers like Mercedes that tested a self-driving truck on a public road in Germany.
Now, the truck drivers also have new, specialized apps that have the potential to get rid of traffic and cut profit-eating delays.
Truckers are looking for apps like Quick180, DrayQ, Jupigo, and DrayLink to swap containers outside a port’s gates, help dispatchers to trace their drivers and get information about loading holdups.
If truckers can save time at terminal gates and make some visits to the port, they can pull more cargo and earn more money per trip.
Trucks at the Port of Long Beach. (Photo: Port of Long Beach)
Street Turns Become Easy for Truckers with New Apps
A licensed motor carrier at the Port, Filex Fok has launched the new application, Jupigo that helps drivers to trace and swap containers outside the port.
This application functions like dating application for truck drivers, who needs equipment. Truckers with empty containers have to post their equipment availability on Jupigo. Truckers for empties can also post their requirements in this app and the app will automatically alert both drivers, who can then start a container exchange.
According to the estimate by Jupigo, Port of Oakland drivers has conducted 2,000 to 3,000 street turns weekly. And, the company hopes for 2x times more with its new application. This enables two more trucks for every street turn out of line at Oakland terminals.
This is the third introduced application at the Port of Oakland, after DrayQ and DrayLink apps that enable drivers to get real-time metrics on gate queues and terminal transaction times. Talking about DrayQ app, it provides terminal performance metrics at the Port of Oakland. This application gives exact wait times for drivers at marine terminal gates in Oakland, shows turn-times inside terminals and calculates total transaction times for the drivers.
DrayQ uses WiFi technology and Bluetooth and shows wait times much like those seen on illuminated freeway signs. Before launching on App Store, this application has been tested in a user-trial with 150 harbor drivers at the Port. Right now, approximate 3,000 truckers are using this application in Oakland.
There are mobile applications improving drivers’ quality of life by providing access to information, professional tools and even, audio and video streaming anytime, anywhere.
Such applications connect drivers with their family and friends on the go and also, make the profession more attractive. Check out some top mobile apps for truckers:
1) CoPilot Truck USA & Canada – GPS Navigation & Truck Routing with Offline Maps
The only GPS app, CoPilot Truck brings an industry standard PC*MILER routing for truckers. Users can also get a connection to real-time ActiveTraffic™ and loads of truck specific POIs.
It stores detailed street-level maps of the U.S. and Canada and thus, you can easily navigate route without the mobile data connection or mobile data plan.
The first-of-its-kind, CoPilot Truck uses voice-guided GPS-navigation to provide drivers customized, reliable and safe truck-legal routes calculated on the basis of the vehicle size, load type, and weight.
This application downloads and stores maps on the phone that provides drivers instant access even when they are offline.
With this application, Drivers can create custom route profiles for easy switching between vehicles, help to avoid out-of-route miles and low-clearance and weight-restricted roads.
2) GasBuddy: Find Cheap Gas Prices at Fuel Stations Nearby
Check it on Play store and iTunes.
The smallest savings counts a lot when you are burning hundreds or even thousands of gallons of diesel each week. This application depends on a community of users working together to give drivers up-to-date diesel prices for thousands of stations across Canada and U.S.
Using this application, drivers can easily search the cheapest fuel, locate nearby fueling stations and categorized them by fuel prices, see gas stations with their features.
MyDAT Trucker – Truck Stops, Fuel, Rest Stops, Wash, Etc.
Having the trucker application means drivers can get all the services they needed while on the road. MyDAT Trucker app for truck drivers shows nearby truck stops, hotels that provide big rig parking, diesel prices, all types of services for big rigs, rest stops and so on. This application also monitors over 800 truck stops nationwide.
Truckers can make more money per trip and can haul more cargo if they can save time at terminal gates. Years ago, truckers would use email or online chats to arrange a street-turn, according to the Port of Oakland.
Apps could be more successful compared to rival technologies, as the designers understand what truckers are trying to do, and thus, created an app that is finely-tuned to their requirements.
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