As is stands right now, the trucking industry is not particularly green—just ask anyone who has been stuck in traffic behind a gas-guzzling, exhaust-belching 18-wheeler. But if the industry is to survive in the next decade, it will have to go through some major changes. According to IBM's "Truck 2020: Transcending Turbulence" report, it will, at least partially thanks to telematics.
IBM predicts that telematics could do everything from automatically slowing a truck down when it approaches a blind curve to diagnosing vehicle issues remotely for preventative maintenance. All of these technologies will decrease the number of truck accidents on the road. In turn, that will cut down on highway traffic and fuel burned by idling vehicles. Telematics could even decrease potential litigation costs by keep track of a truck's every move.
Of course, IBM has a strong interest in promoting its own telematics systems. And while remote vehicle monitoring will likely play a big part in the trucking industry's future, increased fuel efficiency is equally as important. IBM's report acknowledges the environmental hurdles ahead, predicting that new fuel efficiency standards will force the industry to change quickly.
Truck companies are already prioritizing efficiency and environmental benefits over brand recognition. That's a trend that will continue, according to IBM. And if brand name vehicle part vendors don't want to lose sales, they will have to step up and start offering more efficient engines, powertrains, and auxiliary systems.