After the financial crisis, many believed that the automotive industry would remain pretty much unchanged for the foreseeable future. Practically nobody was talking about artificial intelligence outside of sci-fi movies. And the idea of a smart fleet was still in the concept stage. 

Today, though, those concepts are well-understood and known about, even to the general public. And, despite the PR hype, they’re not solely impacting the consumer market, either. All sorts of companies stand to benefit too.

So what’s coming down the pike? And why should you care as a business leader?

Adaptive cruise control is popular among private motorists. They just switch on the setting using a stick protruding from the steering column, and then their car automatically matches the vehicle’s speed in front. For businesses, this development is even more exciting. Not only would it reduce the burden on drivers, but it would also act as an additional layer of safety. Distracted drivers could rely on their vehicles to slow them down in response to a car braking in front instead of manually.

ABS For Trailers

While the K020625N50 Knorr-Bremse EBS trailer control module might have a complicated name, it does something essential – it reduces the chances of skidding. For truck drivers and the companies who support them, this is essential. It means that they’re much more able to react to changing conditions on the road. More rapid braking of the trailer prevents dangerous skidding and shortens stopping distances in an emergency. 

360-Degree Cameras

Businesses that operate fleets need to mitigate risks in whatever way they can. Here, the latest 360-degree camera technology is helping. The idea here is to provide a continuous recording of the vehicle’s surroundings, allowing insurance companies to determine who was at fault in a collision. Despite the complexity of 360-degree devices, the technology is surprisingly cheap. What’s more, these cameras come with software that means that they only store noteworthy events, not just endless and uneventful highway miles, reducing storage costs.

Cross-Traffic Alerts

The drivers in your business don’t always have excellent visibility. Occasionally, they can’t see traffic coming, especially while reversing.

Cross-traffic alerts are a solution to this problem. The technology sends out radio pulses from the sides of the vehicle, telling the driver whether any cars are approaching. If they are, it’ll send out a beep until it is safe to move one more.

Tracking Software

While truck thefts are rare, criminals regularly steal vans. Businesses, therefore, need tracking technology that allows police to recover vehicles once stolen. Today, such technologies exist and are relatively cheap and easy to install. Most rely on GPS technology, sending a signal via satellites that you can trace on software dashboards. Tracking is also imperative for another reason: it helps you keep tabs on remote employees. You can make sure that they’re doing their job as instructed and not taking random detours along the way.

Currently, a range of manufacturers, such as BMW and GM, are offering this technology. More will follow.