AI, Autonomous Machines Among 5 Technologies to Watch


Construction Telematics

An electric vehicle owned by L.A. County
The Sanitation District of Los Angeles County already has electric vehicles in its fleet.

With the ongoing digital transformation of construction and other traditional trade industries, the need to leverage advanced technologies like AI and autonomous machines for high-performance and streamlined operations is growing.

Kevin Aries, head of global product success at telematics provider Verizon Connect, identifies five emerging technologies anticipated to impact 2020 and beyond.

Video as data 

The use of smart video data as the next evolution of IoT will continue to mature this year, Aries says. “Video has multiple uses within the transportation industry, including driver safety, transport efficiency, and even autonomous driving. In the near-term, video data provides yet another layer of insight to help improve safety for both drivers and communities, while also protecting a businesses’ fleet.” 

Artificial intelligence 

AI and machine learning are already being leveraged in the fleet industry, according to Aries. “Adoption of these advanced technologies will continue to grow as businesses and fleets seek to improve productivity and safety,” he says. “Companies that are keeping pace with technological advancements here will start to gain a lead on their industry competitors and ultimately spur more widespread adoption.”    

Electric vehicles 

Currently, electric vehicles make up a small subset of vehicles on the road, but over the next few years they’re expected to grow from 3.2 million vehicles in 2019 to over 26 million vehicles by 2030, as public and private organizations pivot towards more sustainable operations. “Fleet-management solutions will start to include data points unique to electric vehicles, like charging time, average kilowatt per hour consumption, and the closest charging station, as electric vehicle adoption grows,” Aries says.  

Volvo Trucks North America Volvo Trucks North America just this week showed its battery-electric Class 8 truck at an event in Fontana, California. The Volvo Low Impact Green Heavy Transport Solutions (LIGHTS) Innovation Showcase, held at Volvo Trucks’ TEC Equipment dealership, revealed the progress that has been achieved since the announcement of the Volvo LIGHTS project in late 2018. Guests experienced the fully electric project trucks firsthand for the first time.

Volvo LIGHTS is a collaboration between 15 public and private partners to demonstrate the viability of all-electric freight hauling in high-density traffic and urban areas.

Autonomous mobility 

The connected vehicle ecosystem continues to gear-up and progress, Aries says. “Today, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) come standard in most cars and hint at the autonomous vehicle future still decades out,” he says.

“Yet with next-generation 5G technology rolling out, the development of the network that fuels autonomous mobility is becoming real. In the short term, businesses should make strategic investments to position themselves to benefit from autonomous technology that can help increase the efficiency, productivity, and safety of vehicle fleets and a mobile workforce," Aries says. 


With 5G rolling out in cities across the U.S., connected technologies are set to further transform and improve our roads. “2020 will be a year of experimentation and planning around 5G-enabled fleet management solutions,” Aries predicts.

“5G will drastically increase the volume and speed of data traveling through mobile networks, enabling more intelligent infrastructure that will take existing smart-vehicle technologies to the next level," Aries says. "With the potential to supercharge everything from video feeds and sensors to real-time data analysis, 5G will usher in new possibilities in transportation and traffic management, autonomous mobility, and road safety.”

Source: Verizon Connect