Artificial intelligence is a new tool affecting almost every industry these days. In fact, with increasing use of technology, even truck drivers’ ELD systems will soon be controlled by artificial intelligence. Some people are learning to embrace these new changes, while others believe that it could negatively impact the trucking industry.
What is an ELD system?
An electronic logging device (ELD) records the commercial truck driver’s driving time. When a large semi-truck is in drive, the ELD system automatically records the time, hours, and distance that the truck drives. It keeps track of the miles, the movement, and the engine’s performance and information as well. If a manager, dispatcher, supervisor, or lawyer needs information about a specific truck, they can refer to the ELD to get this important data.
Why and how is artificial intelligence taking over ELD systems?
Just like with every other industry, the trucking industry is continuously changing due to technology. As a matter of fact, FreightWaves pointed out that in the past 10 to 20 years, “there has been a massive shift in the way the transportation industry has utilized technology both in and out of the truck.” To show proof of this, FreightWaves recently interviewed the creator and CEO of Ezlogz (an ELD company), CJ Karman, and he mentioned how navigation systems were entirely different when he was a truck driver over 15 years ago. He described his experience of truck driving as consisting of pay phones, physical maps, and documents that had directions on them.
After the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration mandated the use of ELDs in 2019, Ezlogz developed into one of the most widely-known and used ELD companies in the United States. Currently, the company offers ELDs, tracking solutions, dash cams, and load boards. Karman stated that technology continues to change things quickly and drastically. Therefore, “you have to stay on top of where things are headed by constantly adapting.”
One of the most recent changes Ezlogz is adapting to is the EZChatAI, making it the first ELD company to utilize artificial intelligence. The artificial intelligence system’s name is Stacy, and she is equipped to do a variety of tasks. For example, she can send you a reminder about any important scheduled events you have, tell you what the weather is like, recommend different routes based on traffic or collisions, and she can tell you any information you need to know about your hours of service or company rules. In addition, this artificial intelligence system will warn you if you disobey any laws or regulations.
Karman explains that Stacy has the ability to focus and learn the trucker’s behaviors, and this system can be switched based on the driver’s level of experience. For example, there is a basic, intermediate, and advanced level. He believes that this artificial intelligence tool will go far in the trucking industry and even mentioned that we could soon see artificial intelligence being used for dispatching.
The positives and negatives of artificial intelligence ELD systems in the trucking industry
At the end of the interview, Karman made the comment that those who embrace and use artificial intelligence will soon surpass others who do not think that this is an effective tool for the trucking industry. Is he right? We don’t know – but there do seem to be a lot of positives to using AI:
- Better communication between drivers, employers, dispatchers, and more: With the use of artificial intelligence, dispatchers, employers, and companies may have a better understanding of where the driver is. This can keep them informed about any delays and alternative routes taken. In addition, companies may be able to be prepared and ready for when the trucker arrives at their location.
- More compliance with rules and regulations: Since the artificial intelligence system is automatically filling out and submitting forms, truckers should always be in compliance with rules and regulations. This can reduce any errors or mistakes as well as save a lot of time. It should also make it very easy to determine if a truck driver “went rogue” or if a company is encouraging bad behavior, in the event of an accident.
- Provides warnings and keeps track of the driver’s actions: Artificial intelligence systems have the potential to provide warning alerts when a trucker makes a mistake or attempts to break the law. This will let them know that they are being watched and monitored, keeping them from making the mistake again in the future.
- Trucking employers and companies may be able to assess drivers in a better way: Artificial intelligence has the ability to assess the driver and determine what type of driving performance they had for the day. As truckers become aware of this, they will most likely try to drive better, knowing that their employer will most likely receive a report about their driving behaviors.
- Accidents, construction zones, and bad road conditions may be avoided: When the artificial intelligence system predicts that there is an accident, construction zone, or bad road conditions ahead, it can ask the trucker to reroute to a safer driving option. This may be able to prevent dangerous accidents, severe injuries, and truck accidents.
Of course, nothing is perfect:
- Artificial intelligence can make mistakes: We must remember that artificial intelligence is a technology, and it can make mistakes or even stop working at any time. Truckers may find themselves in frightening or life-threatening situations if the artificial intelligence system makes a mistake during a reroute.
- Companies and drivers could start to over-rely or depend on these technologies: If the system stops working or functioning properly, a trucker or company may not know what to do. In addition, drivers and employers could begin to overlook mistakes because they do not expect the artificial intelligence system to make any errors.
- Proving liability may be more challenging: What if there is an accident, and it’s the fault of the AI system? Is the trucker to blame? The trucking company? The software company? All of the above? Typically, drivers and their employers are responsible for their own actions, but a software glitch that causes a crash may be the basis for a product liability claim.
If you or a loved one suffer injuries from a truck accident, a Pittsburgh truck accident lawyer from Carmody & Ging is here to help you. Our firm has been assisting truck accident victims for over three decades. Therefore, we know the ins and outs of these types of accidents, the legal options you may pursue, and the type of compensation for which you may be eligible. If you need a truck accident attorney who will remain by your side, ensuring that you know and understand every detail of your case, we encourage you to call our office or complete our contact form today. We look forward to speaking with you soon!