A new procedure has been established as of February 2022, related to drivers’ posting, infringements, rest times and EU cabotage & cross-trade rules. As an example, truck drivers passing through a country are not considered posted workers, which is a clearer definition for international haulage users. The rest periods are more adequate as well. There are many other relevant changes but the main news is that road transportation is on the radar of authorities, customers, environmental associations and society in general. Improving working conditions of road transport drivers is a must to reduce the fatigue causing traffic accidents, assure financial health and attract future generations.
What impact should be expected?
When analyzing the new regulations, the immediate consequences could be:
A unified control by the government and transport authorities.
A clearer understanding of new definitions when planning international transport orders.
Additional documents or registrations to be set up.
Adopting a “green driving” mindset.
Besides the apparent additional workload, the EU Mobility Package application also means that some bureaucracy procedures can become digital and transparent, hence manual and repetitive tasks should be reduced. Truck drivers are already loaded with many requirements on top of driving. From transport order organization and documents, to informing customers or truck operators precise location and ETA, to all additional paperwork related to accounting, traffic authorities, fiscal authorities and so on. How can they even think about adopting a green driving style or looking for profitable opportunities to avoid empty trips?
In the current age of assistance, it is imperative to focus efforts on synchronization of truck availability with demand opportunities and let systems handle tasks, as a key support for drivers and transport stakeholders.
Getting the support of smart devices:
Devices supported by IoT-based philosophy will make sure to help road transport drivers adapt to the new regulations in 4 basic pillars:
Improving working conditions: the automatic registration of daily & weekly rests and the forecast of future transport orders to be managed based on customizable preferences, could be anticipated by IA and executed automatically.
Democratization: predicting when and where transport orders can be managed, will be key for drivers to decide in advance which orders will be acceptable, based on origin/destination countries, profitability, convenience, distance, previous driven hours and regulation. It would open the door for anyone to handle orders with the same rules.
Communications: with transparent, open systems, drivers will be able to register concerted waypoint checks and submit required posting declarations automatically, with the precise info at the precise moment, avoiding infringements. Sharing this info with the authorities when needed would be a 1-click task (or a single voice command!).
Planning: posted drivers’ trip planning and cooling-off periods can be scheduled in advance via IA and system integration with the whole ecosystem to analyze supply / demand, based on the Directive (EU) 2020/1057 new regulations. In this manner, when truck drivers are exposed to cabotage or cross-trade limitations, they can have prescriptive recommendations in advance and make better decisions.
Drivers spend long hours on the road which prevent them from interacting with customers and truck operators while driving. They must focus on keeping their attention on the road, so distractions should be avoided and interactions should be executed using their voice only.
In order for automatic aids to be incorporated into drivers’ daily tasks, regulation should be more flexible. The Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) programs are paving the way to require vehicle manufacturers to add mandatory and optional tools for the driving experience to improve, but more efforts are needed for customized solutions specifically for road transportation. The solutions should come not only from vehicle manufacturers, but also from the tech industry to develop new features for driving experience to be pleasant and rewarding.