Report on TMC and TCA 2018 Conferences

May 02 2018

PIT Group recently attended the 2018 edition of the Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) Annual Meeting and Transportation Technology Exhibition, held in Atlanta, GA, March 5-8, and the 2018 TCA Annual Conference, held March 10-13 in Las Vegas, NV. Here’s a report on innovations presented and discussions held during these two events.

2018 TMC Annual Conference

The annual TMC conference continues to be the industry’s hotspot for showcasing technology.

At the exhibition site, much of the attention that had been focused on electric trucks over the past year was reflected here. One of the highlights in this regard was the StarShip truck, presented by Shell, with such features as a hybrid-electric axle system and solar panels with a capacity of 5 kW.

As for automated connected trucks, they were the topic of many discussions in workshops and conferences. Connectivity is everywhere and is making its way into every sphere of operations. As for automation (we hesitate to say autonomy!), there is more and more caution with regard to speed of introduction into the various technologies.

2018 TCA Annual Conference

Needless to say, electronic onboard recorders (EOBRs) were the subject of numerous discussions during the various workshops. Some statistics were presented on the main difficulties related to the introduction of EOBRs. We can see that it is the training of both government representatives and drivers that is lacking the most. Interpretation of the regulations was, of course, at the heart of the discussions, and in fact, further clarification continues to flow in.

Driver training also needs to be improved. Many people do not yet know what to provide or how to do it. And all this is made even more ambiguous by the fact that the rules are different for a company that already had an automatic onboard recording device (AOBRD) displaying less information, than for a fleet that has just equipped itself with an EOBR system.

Cyber security was also the topic of much discussion. In fact, while OEMs work relentlessly to secure their vehicles, an EOBR manufacturer—which can be a very popular gateway for hackers—can self-certify and can easily post on an official government website as valid equipment…

The conference concluded, however, that humans continue to be the weak point of the majority of organizations. Always be careful!

It should be noted that a number of our members distinguished themselves and received awards for the safety of their operations. We want to congratulate them!