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Drivers – Still our Most Important Asset

There is a lot of talk out there about the impending robot takeover of the trucking industry. The unveiling of the first licensed autonomous commercial truck stirred up a lot of emotions. Along with that announcement came a wave of questions about the driver’s place in the future of the trucking industry. A big fear is that drivers are becoming obsolete, but the truth is that drivers are just as important now as ever.

Rather than replacing drivers, these advancements in technology work to support the driver.

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Investing in Innovation for our Driver’s Success
Richard Howard, Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing at Daimler Truck North America reminds us that drivers are a key part:
 
 

“…the driver is a key part of a collaborative vehicle system. The autonomous vehicle technology not only contributes to improved safety and efficiency, but allows for improved communication through connectivity and integration.”

 

 

These technologies can be a great tool for drivers to leverage for improved efficiency and safety.

Take, for instance, lane guidance systems. Current lane departure warning systems are just that, they only warn the driver. Often, the truck is already in the other lane before the driver can react to the warning. When active, Daimler’s autonomous technology keeps the truck in the lane for the driver.

New technology also offers the ability to look ahead and perceive changes that just aren’t noticeable by the human eye. Autonomous systems can react much quicker to sudden changes than any driver would be able. The ability to respond so immediately could mean the difference between a lost life and an inconvenient fender bender.

Working together, these systems allow the driver time to rest on long stretches of road. When it’s time for the driver to take control again, he or she will be refreshed and alert, ready for any challenges that lie ahead.

The Driver & The Customer
We can’t underestimate the role of the driver when it comes to customer relationships. Drivers are the face of the company on the road.
 
It’s always great when you can check in on time and get backed right into the dock. But when schedules get changed, and uncontrollable factors kick in, it’s the driver who must step up to smooth things over. It’s the driver’s responsibility to ensure that both the company’s and customer’s needs are met.
 
Don’t forget about those tight spots. The driver is still needed to navigate difficult lots and bizarre dock locations. It takes a skilled driver to maneuver through the minefield of never-ending safety hazards.
Irreplaceable
These are just a few reasons why good drivers cannot be replaced. At Nussbaum, we value our drivers. We invest in new, innovative technology to make sure our drivers have the best tools available at their disposal. Drivers can use these tools to generate greater revenue through efficient and safe operation.

In this way, the new technology that some fear will replace the driver, actually helps the driver be more successful.

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