We’re not there yet, but the future of trucking as predicted by Mobility Solutions, the largest business sector of automotive supplier, Bosch Group, is pretty radical. And it’s within our grasp. Major changes in how drivers interact with commercial vehicles, the road, logistics, and technology are vast and imminent.
In a statement issued by Robert Bosch GmbH, Dr. Markus Heyn, a member of the board of management, stated, “The truckers of the future will go from being drivers to serving as logistics managers.”
The current BLS job description for truckers reads, “Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers transport goods from one location to another. Most tractor-trailer drivers are long-haul drivers and operate trucks with a gross vehicle weight (GVW) capacity—that is, the combined weight of the vehicle, passengers, and cargo—exceeding 26,000 pounds. These drivers deliver goods over intercity routes, sometimes spanning several states.”
In short, a driver’s job is to drive. In stark contrast to today’s job description, Bosch predicts that the typical job description for truckers of tomorrow will read, “[Truckers will] perform key freight forwarding tasks, including checking transport status via cloud, responding to e-mails, organizing routes, and adjusting them to take on additional cargo. Ideal candidate: a team player with good multitasking capabilities – confidence in using new media a must!” Shockingly, the word “driver” is conspicuously absent.
The description was released as part of Bosch’s latest study, the “VisionX” concept study, which was unveiled at the 66th annual IAA Commercial Vehicles in Hannover, Germany. The IAA is the world’s leading fair for mobility, transportation, and logistics. The “VisionX” concept study demonstrated the full range of commercial vehicle capabilities as imagined in the year 2026. The company imagines a fully-connected truck that runs on highly efficient diesel fuel, electricity, and, in some cases, may even feature automated driving. The company predicts that this will allow drivers to see to route-planning, paperwork, and to take needed safety breaks.
“The truck of the future will be a 40-ton smart device on wheels,” noted Heyn.
Bosch afforded visitors to the IAA Commercial Vehicles show the opportunity to take a seat behind the wheel of the futuristic “VisionX” concept. Drivers, CEOs, industry insiders, and enthusiasts engaged with an interactive animated feature that allowed them to experience the company’s vision of the future of trucking. Some of the key features rely on current trucking technology like:
- In-cabin displays and intuitive touchscreens.
- Fuel economy-boosting digital side-view mirrors.
- Connected horizon advanced cruise control systems with real-time data and topographical information which will take traffic congestion and even weather conditions into engine and transmission management.
- Digital camera systems to identify, classify, and locate objects near the truck
- Bosch Servotwin electro-hydraulic active response steering systems
- Electrical hybrid powertrains which can cut fuel consumption by up to 6%
As the “VisionX” is an early concept, specifics regarding powertrain, range, and horsepower have not been released by the company.
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