It’s a brave new world out there and the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) has identified its six key research priorities for 2018. The ATRI created the following list of priorities in March, which only just recently got approved by its board of directors. Change in the trucking industry is upon us (think Big Data, city planning, and autonomous vehicles to name a few) and having additional research to formulate best practices on how to address these areas of concern is always a good thing.
The ATRI’s Top Research Priorities For 2018
1. Urban Planning and Smart City Design For Trucks
This will examine how and where truck freight delivery can be incorporated into urban planning and smart city design. We’d also like to see the ATRI look at how urban planning can play a role in minimizing congestion and parking issues.
2. Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) Crash Data Accuracy
The ATRI is looking to assess the consistency and accuracy of CMV crash data. It will identify ways to improve CMV data collection, quality review, data management, and data submission at both the local and state levels. This is a big one for fleet owners and carriers as it allows for proactive measures to be taken when it comes to ongoing driver training and safety protocol.
3. Autonomous Vehicles and Government Regulation
This will look at the role and impact of government regulations on autonomous vehicles. The ATRI is looking to assess the impact of regulations on how autonomous technologies and vehicles should be used. The FMCSA also recently began fielding public comments on its existing regulations that could impact the development and implementation of autonomous trucks. There are obviously a lot of opinions and concerns around this topic so we’re looking forward to hearing the results of their studies.
4. Inconsistencies In CDL Testing
The ATRI will be reviewing the range of requirements for CDL testing across states and will identify best practices to develop a universal set of testing requirements. We’re glad to see ATRI addressing this as a priority. Younger drivers are entering the workforce every day and it’s important to ensure they have the knowledge and skills to be competent and confident drivers on the road.
5. Autonomous Technology
Autonomous technology absolutely impacts the driver. This analysis by the ATRI will look at how autonomous technologies will change the work environment and requirements for truck drivers. Technology is racing along quickly and we can’t ignore the effect it will have on drivers, carriers, and customers.
6. Marijuana Intoxication Testing
The ATRI will look at best practices across the country and abroad to find recommended maximum intoxication levels and identify possible recommendations for driver sobriety testing. Controversy is high in this arena so it will be interesting to see what the ATRI’s findings will be and how that will impact the industry.
Be sure to check out our blog for more trucking industry news and trends from the team at Thunder Funding!