Last Updated: Mon, April 15, 2019
Daimler Trucks' newest Freightliner Cascadia, with its suite of automation and fuel efficiency enhancements was awarded "Best Transportation Technology" at the 2019 Consumer Electronic Show's Best of CES ceremony.
The truck debuted at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway during the show, and is the first SAE Level 2 automated truck to enter series production in North America, according to a Daimler press release.
“With the new Cascadia, we aim to significantly reduce both accidents and fuel consumption with advancements in automation, helping the truck drivers do their job with more safety and with less fuel,” said Roger Nielsen, President and CEO of Daimler Trucks North America.
“We are facing more trucks on the road with increased hauling demands, regulatory pressures and ongoing global concerns over energy resource depletion. Now more than ever, it is imperative that we continue to innovate and push our engineering solutions striving, above all, for safety and helping our customers to run their business efficiently.”
Right now the new Cascadia employs Level 2 automation with camera and radar-based systems to assist the driver with its acceleration, deceleration and steering capabilities, in addition to the familiar adaptive cruise control and active lane assist. Daimler announced that they expect to have Level 4 automation in its trucks on America's roads within a decade.
How Many Years Do We Have Left Before Autonomous/computerized Trucks Make Us All Unemployed?
A recent survey of the motoring public's opinions about the truck industry showed some improvements when compared to a similar survey taken in 2015.
The questionnaire was sent out by Trucking Moves America Forward to 800 licensed American drivers in February. TMAF was founded five years ago to measure and help shift the public's perception of the trucking industry.
The trucking industry has "suffered from an outdated and tarnished reputation," explained Kevin Burch, co-chairman of TMAF and president of Jet Express, Inc.
"We're proud of the milestones we've accomplished in five years. Our latest poll shows that more Americans recognize that truck drivers are hardworking professionals who work diligently to safely deliver our goods on time. Motorists have a much more positive view of the industry now, describing truck drivers as the 'backbone of our country.' Americans also understand the industry plays a very important role in the country's economy."
According to survey results:
The full survey, including verbatim responses, can be found at TruckingMovesAmerica.com.
A New Era for Knights of the Road
Procter & Gamble recently named U.S. Xpress Enterprises its Carrier of the Year for the second consecutive year, and U.S. Xpress driver Tim Keckley as one of its Drivers of the Year.
U.S. Xpress, the nation’s fifth largest asset-based truckload carrier by revenue won the award based on its exceptional service, innovation responsiveness and a strong working partnership with P&G. U.S. Xpress has been a carrier for P&G for more than a decade, and claims the company among its top 10 customers by revenue.
“I am impressed with the commitment and dedication evident within our team,” Eric Fuller, President and CEO of U.S. Xpress, said in a press release. “Our professional driver, Tim Keckley, embodies our company culture and mission at the highest level by maintaining a safety-first mentality, investing his time in our trainees, and providing our customer with superior service. I am proud he is on our team."
"With our ‘Full Ride’ initiative (tuition-free college education), and our recently launched state-of-the-art Professional Driver Development program, my hope is that we can continue to attract professionals like Tim to U.S. Xpress,” Fuller added.
What's even more exceptional about the individual driver award is that it is the first in the industry where a major shipper has honored a specific driver. Keckley was chosen from among tens of thousands of drivers who move P&G freight every year. He joined U.S. Xpress more than five years ago and has trained 36 students.
Drivers running through Ohio will find it easier to determine available spots at some of the state's rest stops following installation of a smart parking system that will let them know in real time how many parking spot are available to use.
The system, a creation of IIS Smart Parking, is deployed at 18 rest stops on Ohio's I-70, I-75 and U.S. Route 33, and uses in-ground sensors to continuously update highway signs to alert truck drivers ahead of time to the availability of parking spaces.
This installation is the first of eight Midwestern states to eventually participate in the Regional Truck Parking Information Management System.
“This service is badly needed in the trucking industry,” said Brian Heath, president and CEO of IIS, in a company press release. “Parking is a huge concern for drivers. Studies by the Federal Highway Administration show that 83 percent of drivers routinely take 30 minutes or longer to find parking, and that 37 DOTs reported problems with commercial parking.”
According to Heath, the real-time display of parking spots at rest areas gives drivers time to plan. “In Ohio, it’s set up where a highway reader board shows the number of spots available at the upcoming rest area,” he said. “And in many cases, it shows the spots available at the rest areas that are further down the road. This takes out a lot of the guesswork of ‘where do I park?’ Plus, if a rest area is full, the driver doesn’t have to pull in and search – wasting time trying to find a spot that doesn’t exist.”
Other participating states that will receive the truck parking system include Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.
Is anybody doing anything about the shortage of truck parking?
Overnight parking at rest areas
Sources: PRNewsWire, Daimler, U.S. Xpress, IIHS
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