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Canadian Transportation Trends: AI, Tech and Driver Recruitment Lead the Way

Canada isn’t alone in its need for truck drivers. Canada’s needs, however, are unique.

Canada is big. Its landmass is second only to Russia. And, it has over one million km (621,371 miles) of roads. More than 90% of goods consumed in Canada travel by trucks; that means Canada needs drivers . . . a lot.

Even though there are an estimated 250,000 Canadian truck drivers—because of growth and retiring drivers—28,000 new, inexperienced drivers enter the industry, annually.

This information makes Canada’s driver recruitment unusual, but what makes it unique is that because of Canada’s varying policies, vast expanses of territory and deep need, many of these drivers aren’t receiving the country’s mandatory entry-level training (MELT) before getting licensed and seated in trucks.

As of last October, CTV reports that eight of Canada’s 13 provinces have not implemented MELT, which requires 103.5 hours of training to earn a Class 1/A license.

Training While Working

How do you replicate the supervised driving training experience that is the intention of MELT? Video technology could hold the key. Dash cameras have been used to train and monitor drivers successfully for years, both for real-time instruction and for reviewing recorded performance.

Today’s solutions can be four times as effective, combining cameras on dash, in front, for back-up and all around. Current technologies take training to a new level, with multiple cameras monitoring the road and driver in high res and in real time. Fleets could use the technology to coach operators on better driving habits, based on what’s happening inside, outside, ahead and behind the truck.

Artificial Intelligence Makes a Difference

Interactive training is evolving to predictive training through the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI). 

Today, the most advanced video intelligence systems use AI to process recording data in real time to provide drivers with a superhuman perspective, and feedback on the go. A powerful artificial intelligence platform can now be linked from cloud to cab and driver.

An example of how it helps could be AI triggering event recordings that enable owners to reward good driving habits— a move that enhances a fleet’s safety program through positive reinforcement.

Technology Makes Driving Safer Than Ever

While driver training standards continue to take hold, the industry is already benefiting from technology that makes the act of driving safer to begin with. Multiplying the number of cameras to eliminate blind spots for drivers is just one example of this.

In-cabin sensors are being paired with AI to protect drivers from fatigue, distraction and risky behaviors. These sensors leverage AI to sense in-cab movements, distractions and signs of tiredness—allowing owners to address conditions, as well as coach appropriate actions.

The ability to coach effectively and in the moment using high-tech sensors and AI is enhanced by collision prevention technology that’s helping make up for inexperience—while making the roads safer for all drivers. Instantaneous alerts for following distance, lane departure and distraction can help prevent incidents on the road.

Apps and Platforms Support Drivers’ Concentration

Drivers may be less experienced to start, but technology that helps enhance their productivity and enforce safe driving practices is better than ever. That includes a trove of technologies that help them stay focused on the actual driving by taking care of important but non-essential tasks.

Today’s transportation management platforms enable clear and instantaneous communication that helps avoid dispatch disconnects that frustrate and distract. Routing and optimization apps provide in-cab navigation that saves drivers from having to seek information on tolls, traffic or road restrictions, too.

Outfitting Drivers with a Safe Truck

In this market, drivers are a precious commodity and your company's most important asset. Protect them by ensuring their equipment is in an excellent state of maintenance. 

Vehicles that need repair are hazardous to your drivers and everyone else out there on the road. Using connected tools like remote diagnostics, you can gain access to actionable, real time vehicle information about mechanical problems to prevent unscheduled service events and hazardous driving scenarios.

Technology: Giving Fleet Owners Security

Video intelligence solutions are helping improve driving habits, and they’re also bolstering accountability. AI is being used to process video data in real time and trigger event recordings.

In the event of an accident or incident, high-resolution video documentation can provide a clear source of truth that reduces litigation costs and hassles. AI and machine learning are being used to enable fast data retrieval, saving fleets from reviewing hours of video.

While Canada’s provinces get up to speed on MELT, the motoring public and fleet owners can take comfort knowing technology is helping take up the slack by making the act of driving easier, more straightforward and safer than ever before.

Is your transportation business based in Canada or do you operate on a cross-border basis? Reach out to us today to find out more about how our wide range of solutions can help you operate safely and more efficiently.