Trucking sure is getting a lot of attention lately. There have been lots of new investments, with technology companies raising $10 million, $100 million, even $500 million. But the amounts aren’t really what matter. What strikes me is that these investments are occurring at an ongoing pace, and they show no signs of stopping.
Last week I was in Las Vegas attending Manifest. The website for the show touts it this way: “Manifest Vegas brings together the most comprehensive ecosystem of innovation and transformation in supply chain and logistics.”
My interactions with people at the show got me thinking about the trucking industry—and the North American Council for Freight Efficiency’s work in it—in a broader way. Let me explain. We have technologies that can improve the efficiency of trucking today. Those are the things that we talk about in our Confidence Reports.
Then we have technologies that are a little further up the technology adoption S curve. This includes things like battery-electric vehicles, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, and hybrid vehicles. Those are the things that we talk about in ourGuidance Reports. They are things that are a little further out in the future but that we can still see coming into widespread use in the trucking industry in the not-too-distant future. And a little further out from that isautonomous trucking. It’s probably not as close as widespread adoption of zero-emission vehicles, but it is not so far in the future that it is the stuff of science fiction.