Three Insights from The Work Truck Show 2019

on Mar 19, 2019

The commercial truck industry is constantly evolving, and that was on full display at The Work Truck Show 2019 put on by the National Truck Equipment Association (NTEA).

The Work Truck Show 2019 showcased the latest and greatest in technology for the commercial truck industry. (Photo courtesy of the NTEA)

According to the NTEA, a record 14,256 attendees from 28 countries made their way to Indianapolis on March 5-8 to see the latest and greatest in products and technology for the commercial truck industry. As one of the exhibitors at this year’s show, we had a first-hand look at all of these new advancements.

In regards to our industry, here are a few insights I noticed in relation to the mobile video and software market:

Dash Cameras

One piece of video technology that has exponentially grown in use is the use of dash cameras for commercial vehicles. In a report from Car and Driver Magazine, a spokesperson for the Consumer Technology Association said that 237,000 dash cameras were sold in America in 2017, and sales were estimated at 285,000 units for 2018.

Dash cameras continued to be a big draw at this year’s Work Truck Show, and attendees were on the lookout for dash cameras that can do more than just record their drivers and the road.

Many conversations about dash cameras with people who stopped by our booth were focused on the ability to perform real-time GPS tracking on their fleet. This feature is important because fleet managers need to know where their drivers are – and if they’re where they’re supposed to be.

Additionally, drivers were also looking for solutions that provide the ability to both see live camera views and automatically receive event video alerts. These features are key for fleet managers so they can be instantly aware of any accidents or issues with their drivers.

This year’s show proved that the use of dash cameras will only continue to rise as companies and drivers continue to see the importance of having dash cameras as part of their safety programs.

Software

Going hand-in-hand with dash cameras, the other big advancement in recent years in the commercial truck industry is the rise of telematics and fleet management software.

After the implementation of the electronic logging devices (ELD) mandate that went in effect at the end of 2017, many organizations rushed out and signed up for software services packaged with dash cameras without putting much thought into what they were buying.

Attendees at this year’s show did their research, as many conversation I heard had consumers asking if “Do I have to pay anything extra to use this thing?” It’s important to ask that question to ensure you don’t waste money on a dash camera that promises a ton of high-tech features – but won’t even work as intended unless you get locked into an expensive software contract.

At the base level, consumers should be able to purchase a dash camera that can record footage and fully function as promised, all without any fine print that locks consumers into an expensive software contract.

Fleet management software should be its own separate – and affordable – service that works in unison with dash cameras, not a Trojan horse filled with hidden costs that pop up after the purchase.

Observation is Still Important

While a lot of the focus has been on cameras that record footage and all of the newest software options, conversations with attendees at this year’s show proved that rear vision and observations systems are still an important part of the commercial fleet safety conversation.

After the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) implemented a mandate that requires all new cars weighing less than 10,000 pounds and built after May 2018 to include a backup camera, consumers have come to expect that every new vehicle has a backup camera.

But with commercial trucks and heavy equipment, many of the attendees who stopped by our booth still have a major need for rear vision and observation systems – especially with the danger that comes from not being able to view the rear area and blind spots that come with operating such large vehicles.

Some attendees thought that backup sensors were enough to get the job done, but quickly realized that pairing rear view and observation systems with sensors provided the best coverage.

It can be easy to get lost in all of the bright lights and fancy booths filled with shiny technology, but the need for rugged, reliable rear vision and observation systems isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Conclusion

After a week in Indianapolis, it was exciting the see how the commercial work truck industry is always moving forward. If you’re looking for more information on safety solutions for your commercial fleet, see what solutions we offer here at PRO-VISION® that can help you increase safety and reduce liability across your fleet.

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