IRP Navigates The Future At Annual Meeting
Written by Dave Gray, President of Glostone Trucking Solutions
The International Registration Plan (IRP) held its annual business meeting and conference last week in Tempe, Arizona. The 48 contiguous states and 10 bordering Canadian Provinces make up the members of IRP and work to adopt and manage the common interstate commercial vehicle registration regulations.
Regulators along with members from Industry met for 3 days to learn, discuss and find solutions to common problems. The theme for this year’s meeting was Navigating The Future.
Matt Thornhill from the Institute For Tomorrow provided the keynote address with an eye opening presentation on just how fast things are going to change within the transportation industry. Thornhill outlined why technology will change transportation more in the next 10 years than it has over the last 100 years and left the Regulators scrambling to figure out how they will manage to keep up.
Subsequent breakout sessions included topics on:
- Managing data records and a need to make the individual Jurisdiction data available to all members and enforcement.
- Electronic credentials have been discussed in previous IRP meetings but the rapid change in technology has placed a much more urgent need for IRP to provide a common plan sooner than later.
- Electronic driver’s licenses and electronic Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN’s) is technology that will be available and be in demand. Regulators will have to have a plan to adapt.
- How to make roadside compliance inspections safer, more effective and efficient was discussed. Collin Mooney from the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) announced a new Level 8 vehicle inspection was adopted two weeks ago. The new Level 8 inspection paves the way for the development of electronic scanning of commercial trucks. According to Mooney, “scanning would allow more trucks to be inspected, would focus stops on just the bad actors, and would promote better compliance at a cheaper cost.” Conceivably, a Level 8 inspection could eliminate the need for Weigh Scales.
In addition to technology driving change is the change in workforce. Currently 32% of the workforce is made up of Millennials. By 2025, Millennials will make up 46% of the workforce.
According to Thornhill, “as a group, Millennials are confident, goal oriented, integrated, and mobile device oriented. Their loyalty tends to be for a cause vs a company or career. They collaborate, expect instant communication, and daily feedback. Most importantly, they will be technology dependent. These traits will mandate change in how businesses and governments are managed and how they conduct day to day business. Each will have to adapt to retain motivated workers.”
The one constant of the entire meeting was that change is coming. The path for change is dictated by demographics, culture change and technology. Successfully navigating the change will require both industry and government to stay “plugged in” to every resource available and be nimble enough to make the changes required to keep up!