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stability control have taken years to work through the process. That will have to change as vehicles can advance minute by minute through wireless software updates, he said.

not only are the systems affordable, but they can actually provide a return on investment, provided the system is used correctly and to its potential. There is also the issue of purchasing a

Rosekind said his agency will not move forward until automated vehicles are “much safer” than human drivers, but how much safer is not yet known. Moreover, it’s not clear how to define what “safer” actually is – fewer crashes, fewer fatalities, or what?

system that does what you want it to do. Not all systems are created equal. Some include an extensive communications and tracking capability, while others are a more simple ELog-only system. The more capa- bilities you want in the system, the more costly it will become. One question to ask every vendor you

are considering is, “What is your ‘range’ of offerings within your system?” Can it be expanded to include other options or func- tionality? Do you want the options they are offering? How much are they increasing your cost?

MYTH: ELDs will make us compliant overnight This is more of a wish than a myth. The truth is that ELDs do not:

“If an autonomous vehicle slams on the brakes, leading the car behind it to tap its bumper, is that a crash? Or is that a life saved, because the autonomous vehicle didn’t hit the kid who just ran in front of it?” he asked. Despite the challenges, Rosekind offered a hopeful description of the technology’s possibilities, explaining that 35,200 Americans died on the road in 2015, 94% of them related to human choice or driver error. He said NHTSA

overnight. However, they do help you, if used

correctly, get more compliant by eliminating two of the most common HOS violations, “Form and Manner” and “Log Not Current.” They also help with compliance with the HOS limits, provided the system gives the driver a warning when approaching a limit and the driver heeds the warning. The ELD can be a powerful tool if used

as part of an overall compliance program that includes training on critical topics

estimates that 613,501 lives have been saved because of auto safety technologies already in place over the last 50 years. “We see a future where vehicle automation and vehicle connectivity could cut roadway fatalities dramatically,” he said. Aside from technology and regulations, other changes will be coming. Insurance will certainly change. Driver privacy will be an issue. Another issue is security. Could an autonomous truck – or, even worse, a fleet of them – be attacked wirelessly and even brought under someone else’s control? Scott points to situations where a truck was used in a terroristic act, including the Oklahoma City bombing and the recent attack in Nice, France, where a truck was driven through a crowd. As vehicles become increasingly connected and autonomous, the security and integrity of automotive systems must become a high priority for fleet

• Teach your drivers how to comply with the hours-of-service regulations,

• Stop the vehicle when the driver reaches a limit,

• Make sure the driver has all credentials, or

• Make the drivers obey the traffic laws. ELDs will not make you compliant


such as the safety regulations, defensive and compliant driving, ongoing training and communications, performance tracking, and remedial training. If used correctly, the system can serve as

a proactive tool. You should be able to see trends in hours-of-service violations, as well as speed, idle time, hard braking, and other driver behaviors in advance of the driver getting into trouble or being involved in a crash. ELDs will only make you compliant if

you put the legwork into implementing the program, training drivers and supervisors, and use the data to identify drivers that are not complying. Do not let myths and rumors derail the

implementation of ELDs. Finally, remember that the clock is

ticking. By December 18, 2017, you will have had to deal with all of these myths and the resistance that comes with them, and successfully implemented electronic logs. BTW

As autonomous vehicles become more common, drivers will become more comfortable with the technology. One concern would be that they would become too comfortable. For the foreseeable future, a self-driving vehicle will still need a driver ready to take the wheel if the situation warrants. Scott believes the trucking industry will react appropriately and continue doing what it has always done, which is train drivers to be safe. The nature of that training will just have to change. Years ago, the commercial airline industry began adopting autopilot technologies, and pilots learned how and when to rely on it. He expects the same from motor carriers. “I don’t think there will be any loss in driver professionalism as a result of advanced driver technologies,” he said. “I think we’re only going to make them better and safer.”

BEHIND THE WHEEL — Q4 Winter 2016 11 BEHIND THE WHEEL ~ Q3 Fall 2016 21

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