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What Will Fleet and Safety Operations Look Like in 2022?

December 20, 2021

Ryan Wilkinson, Chief Technology Officer at IntelliShift, shares his predictions about how fleet and safety operations will evolve over the next year and beyond.

For some, the holiday season presents an opportunity to celebrate a year of wins and ease into planning for the year to come. For leaders in fleet and safety operations, however, the pressure is still on. Amid unprecedented supply chain disruption and a driver deficit that’s expected to reach 160,000 by 2030, there is precious little room for slowing down.

That said, despite ongoing challenges, there are a number of bright spots that indicate new innovation and industry evolution throughout 2022. As artificial intelligence and machine learning become mainstays within fleet organizations, strategic decision-making will improve. Further, built on a backbone of data-rich insights, technology-driven training and safety management capabilities are advancing quickly.

With the New Year on the horizon and so many cultural and societal factors reshaping modern fleet intelligence, I compiled a short list of my top predictions for 2022. Keep these in mind as you chart your path forward into a new season of success:

1. Artificial intelligence (AI) will play an ever-increasing role in vehicle cabs

AI has started to play an important role within cabs, with AI-powered cameras and sensors built into both commercial and personal vehicles to prevent distracted, drowsy or impaired driving. Leading into 2022, adoption will increase in order to make trucking a safer and more appealing career – a crucial element to addressing the current driver shortage. Additionally, data generated by AI will enable the development of next-gen safety features, such as in-cab sensors that measure the levels of elements in a driver’s breath to detect health issues.

2. The driver shortage will continue, requiring companies to think out of the box to attract and retain a full fleet of drivers

Speaking of the industry’s talent challenges, this will likely get worse before it gets better. There are technology-driven solutions to current conditions (pandemic-related career changes, safety challenges, high-demand), however they are unlikely to mature fast enough to ease the pressure on fleets. In the meantime, companies will need to provide more flexible working hours and better benefits to attract and retain drivers. Regulatory changes, such as the DRIVE-Safe Act, should also be pushed forward in 2022, lowering the age limit for a commercial driver’s license to 18, enabling a larger pool of eligible drivers to enter the market.

3. New innovations in camera technology will enable a host of improvements – including accident reduction

As far as tech goes, artificial intelligence won’t be the only significant advancement we’ll see within the next generation of cabs. Namely, camera technology is likely to take a major leap forward, enabling an entire host of opportunities. For example, this will give drivers the ability to have eyes on multiple areas of the road at one time, allow for more real-time feedback and quick adjustments – thus preventing more accidents.

As fleets get smarter, technology moves faster, and growth compounds, there’s a lot to look forward to in 2022. Leaders are embracing digital agility to make strategic decisions and deliver stronger results for their teams. By leaning into this mentality, 2022 can be a record year for your business.

What are your top predictions for the coming year? Let us know @IntelliShift.