The digitisation of business processes and supply chains is one of the most dominant trends in the global business community. In the not-so-distant future, every organisational unit will experience the transformational change of innovative information technologies and the business models they enable.
Today, automated and connected vehicle technologies are among the most heavily researched automotive technologies. What we see now is only a fraction of what will be developed for the future. From a UK perspective, I think Brexit will force a major push for many companies toward automation, specifically within customs procedures, and toward a globally harmonised system.
The major global truck manufacturers are starting to invest in electric vehicle technology and preparing to put the first generation of electric trucks on the road. In late 2017, Tesla Inc. introduced its electric Tesla Semi with production planned for 2019 and Volvo Trucks recently delivered its first all-electric trucks in Sweden.
Also, autonomous technologies will have a dramatic influence on logistics in general and road freight in particular. Driverless trucks could very well be a regular presence on many roads within the next 10 years. We already see prototypes of self-driving cars being tested out, for example by Google, Uber, and Apple as well as by most car manufacturers.
Blockchain technology is another huge trend that has exciting potential for road freight. It may solve some of the most difficult problems in trucking with benefits such as efficient supply chains and simplified collaboration between carriers in a secure network. As annual spending on is expected to reach 8.6 billion Euro by 2021, it is only a matter of time before we can start seeing some of the benefits of blockchain technology.