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September 10, 2021 1:30 PM, EDT

iTECH: New Look With a Familiar Feel

iTECH cover image

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When Transport Topics published the inaugural issue of iTECH in April 2001, the trucking industry was only just beginning to realize the enormous potential for information technology to revolutionize business management.

The bulky computers and clunky software applications of the day may have been rudimentary in comparison with today’s state-of-the-art mobile devices and advanced data analytics, but they were already driving dramatic changes to the way work was done.

At the same time, the true benefits of the internet were coming into clearer focus after the world had witnessed the meteoric rise and then fall of many ’90s dot-com companies in the early years of the information superhighway.

Seth Clevenger

Clevenger

Against that backdrop, TT launched its iTECH supplement in an effort to enhance its coverage of information technology in the trucking industry.

This publication has been faithfully chronicling that technology transformation for more than 20 years now — and it will continue to do so — but we’ve decided the time is right for an update.

The redesigned iTECH features a fresh look and feel along with a renewed focus on identifying and explaining the most important trends in trucking’s ever-expanding technology sector.

At the same time, the new iTECH has returned to its roots as a stand-alone quarterly magazine. Transport Topics subscribers now receive iTECH as a separate product packaged with TT rather than embedded in the pages of the flagship weekly publication.

The core mission, however, remains the same. Each issue of iTECH will deliver content designed to help trucking and logistics executives keep up with the rapid pace of technology and determine what the latest advances really mean for their businesses.

That involves developing a deeper understanding of the existing technologies that are already on the market and in many instances becoming commonplace, as well as the emerging technologies that could shake up the industry in the future.

Although iTECH’s content is geared toward fleet technology experts, including chief information officers and chief technology officers, we also want it to be informative and accessible for managers and decision-makers of all stripes throughout the industry.

No matter your title or your organization, it’s beneficial to better understand key topics and technologies such as telematics, elec­tronic logging devices, trends in transportation management software, machine learning applications, cybersecurity, blockchain and even automated driving.

It’s our hope that this information will help you more effectively manage your business and also plan for the future — because you can’t afford to ignore the trends and technologies that are just emerging today but will become a prerequisite tomorrow.

A glance back at the inaugural iTECH clearly illustrates that point.

News stories in that first issue explored capabilities that were on the cutting edge at the time but are now in widespread use, such as document imaging to reduce paperwork, as well as technologies that now are all but extinct, including the use of CD-ROMs for data storage.

Back then, fleets were adopting technology to establish open communications with their drivers and better manage core functions such as dispatching and tracking mileage.

Fast forward to the present, and it’s amazing how far we’ve come.

Streams of data captured by onboard sensors and cameras flow seamlessly from the truck out on the road to the back office to help fleet managers improve ­safety and optimize driver productivity and profitability.

At the same time, manual processes are becoming increasingly automated, unlocking new levels of efficiency.

And modern trucks are equipped with an array of increasingly advanced safety systems to support the driver.

But even now, we are still just scratching the service of this technology-driven transformation.

And that raises an interesting question: Which budding technologies that are still in the research and development or early adoption phases today will become ubiquitous in the future?

When we consider how much has changed in the past 20 years since we first published iTECH, it’s fascinating to imagine how the advance of technology will transform our industry in the next two decades.

Read iTECH to follow this evolution every step of the way.

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