View Source: Michael Roeth
Often, fleets add telematics devices or driver coaching aids to their truck once it is in their possession. Then, they, too, must grapple with technology integration. In a perfect world everything goes smoothly, but reality can be much different.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about all the technology that is available on today’s trucks. From electronic control modules for various components to telematics devices to advanced driver assistance systems amid many powertrain combinations, today’s trucks are chock-full of technology.
Not only do the engineers who build the trucks have to worry about the components all working well together, but they have to be cognizant of all the technology interfaces. And that is just for the stuff that is installed at the factory.
Often, fleets add the telematics devices or driver coaching aids to the truck once it is in their possession. Then, they too must grapple with technology integration. In a perfect world everything goes smoothly, and one system meshes seamlessly with another with no problems.
The reality is often quite different. We ran into this a little bit when we were installing telematics devices and data loggers on the trucks participating in Run on Less Regional last fall. We managed to work through the issues and in the end got most of the data we had hoped for, but I was glad we were only working with 10 trucks and not a larger number of them.
The truth of the matter is technology integration is hard. Sometimes very hard. And I think as trucks continue to get even more complex and sophisticated that integration will become even more important.
It is going to be incumbent on everyone involved with the trucks to work together to make sure technology adds-on can be smoothly integrated into the vehicles without a lot of time or cost to the end user. This is again one of those times when cooperation and working together early in the new technology development process will pay big dividends at the fleet level. Good thing the trucking industry has a long history of doing that and doing it well.