Automotive & TransportationAugmented RealityGuest Post

How AR is Changing the Trucking Industry

The role of augmented reality in streamlining essential processes in global trucking and logistics.


Guest Post


Augmented reality is taking the driver’s seat in modernizing the trucking industry. ARPost previously covered the use of AR in logistics and supply chain management. Let’s now take a closer look at how it’s making waves in the trucking aspect of the overall logistics equation.

Automotive Companies Are at the Forefront of AR Development in Trucking

One of the companies that are leading the way in new AR-based trucking tech is automotive giant Mercedes. Their new Vehicle Lens app interfaces with existing smartphone technology to show an augmented reality view of a vehicle.

Depending on which part of the vehicle you point it at, the app can show you vital maintenance info in real time. Point it at the tires to immediately see tire pressure levels. Pointing it at the engine will reveal other vital details like mileage, fuel level, or whether it needs new coolant. It can even record personal driver info to determine if you’ve been in the driver’s seat for too long.

Mercedes is specifically marketing the app as a trucking industry tool. However, it could be a useful tool for almost any vehicle on the road. For now, it’s bound to streamline the process of maintenance in the trucking industry. And that’s just for starters.

Mercedes-Benz Fleetboard Vehicle Lens
Mercedes-Benz Fleetboard Vehicle Lens; Source: Mercedes-Benz

Other automotive companies like Caterpillar and Volkswagen are also developing their own AR tech specifically for the freight or trucking industry. Volkswagen’s MARTA, or Mobile Augmented Reality Technical Assistance, works similarly to Mercedes’ Vehicle Lens. It’s primarily a repair and maintenance tool that works via real-time object recognition software. However, its development can further increase the number of ways heavy industry could use augmented reality.

AR Maintenance Software Is a Burgeoning Tech Trend

Caterpillar is taking this concept further by combining augmented reality with their own digital asset factory. The company’s virtual machine, component, and engine models provide their AR software with a yet-unrivaled accuracy when it comes to object recognition and maintenance info detection.

Caterpillar is developing this AR tech specifically for the repair, maintenance, and optimal performance of their line of industrial vehicles. Nevertheless, it opens up new, more efficient pathways for the development of AR-based maintenance software in the entire trucking industry.

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In fact, the possibilities of augmented reality are best realized alongside related logistics technologies. This is where vehicle telematics enters the picture. In a nutshell, telematics is the use of Internet and GPS-powered devices to track the real-time whereabouts of vehicles, cargo, and other resources in the supply chain. Augmented reality could be the technology that will push it forward.

AR and Telematics Could Soon Take Over the World

The way AR can deliver complex bits of information in real time can streamline the integration of telematics into actual fleet operations. Apart from maintenance info, AR could show truckers the nearest garage or parts dealer in the event of a total breakdown. It can also show them their own live driving statistics. This would allow them to make the necessary adjustments towards fully efficient driving.

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In the world of vehicle telematics, GPS-assisted AR could even show drivers a live map and directions towards planned routes. Live rerouting to cater to sudden deadlines could also be communicated by fleet operators easily via driver AR.

As senior product manager, Kevin Aries, explains on Verizon Connect, “there is practically no limit to the different applications for telematics.” Thanks to the quick information delivery that’s now possible through AR, it becomes much easier to translate the use of telematics into actual long-term benefits for trucking fleets.

Augmented reality has the power to turn ordinary truck drivers into maintenance and logistics experts. Through AR-enabled smartphones or glasses, the trucking industry can equip drivers with everything they need to know before heading out into the field. Not only could this keep drivers and vehicles safe and in optimal condition, but it could also usher in an era of yet-unheard efficiency in the entire logistics industry.

Allysa Cohen

About the Author

Allysa Cohen is a freelance writer with a passion for following the latest tech trends in the automobile industry. When she isn’t writing posts on the latest developments for vehicles, she can be found at tech conventions getting the latest scoop on what the future holds.