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Should Truckers Crowdsource Driving Information?

A lot of information is being crowd-sourced these days. Search engines use what most people find most valuable to pull search results to the top of the page, companies are relying more and more on data trends to schedule sales and dictate products, and even online map providers are crowd-sourcing users' information to get live traffic patterns and provide updated routes. ALK's senior vice president, Dan Popkin, is now talking about how to crowdsource live data from truck drivers to create a national grid of safety updates, traffic hazards, and slow roads.

How can creating a live network of driving conditions benefit semi drivers?

Primarily, Popkin says, using real-time information regarding collisions and rollovers would help alert drivers in those areas of dangerous driving conditions or particularly dangerous parts of the road. Having extra information regarding weather you're driving towards can help you know to take stock of your snow tires before you're in the middle of a blizzard or can give you time to find an alternate route that won't add hours to your drive. Having information compiled, analyzed, and sent to you as relevant updates would make you safer.

It would also make the road more efficient. If you're driving in a typically congested area, knowing which routes are free while you still have a chance to exit can shave minutes or hours off your time, and that frees you up to start another load ahead of schedule. Plus, since the information will be crowd-sourced from truck drivers, the information will be far more applicable to what you need than typical traffic updates or general road information.

This mapping system doesn't exist yet. The trucking industry as a whole is looking at a wave of new technology that will change how drivers do their jobs and how large fleets are organized, and this is just one of the many avenues that could take. Browse our site for more semi-trailer technology and trucking news for present and future trends.

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