July Transportation Trends – The Truck Stop of the Future, Plus California’s “Clean Truck Partnership” 

July Transportation Trends

Jeremy Ertl | PR Director  

Each month, we pull together news and trends around the future of transportation — from advancements in the electric vehicle space to autonomous rules and regulations to policy funding (only the good stuff!).

This month, we’re going all in on trucks: covering the truck stop of the future, how brands are using video games to recruit trucking talent and lastly, a win-win for truck manufacturers and the environment in California. 

Unlike Twitter Rebranding to ‘X’, We’re Here for This Reinvention 

Daimler Truck North America (a broadhead client) and the state of Michigan are collaborating on “The Truck Stop of the Future,” a charging hub for commercial EVs, via Heavy Duty Trucks.  

The “Mobility Charging Hub” will combine a traditional truck stop with EV charging infrastructure to support fleet transition to electric vehicles.  

The $13 million-funded hub (which includes $8.5 million in federal funding) will be located at Daimler’s Detroit plant in Redford and feature EV charging, solar canopies, and energy storage. Strategically located along the I-96 Freight Corridor, it aims to boost EV adoption in commercial fleets to the more than 10,000 medium- and heavy-duty commercial trucks that travel across the state in a day. 

The project is currently planned to roll out in phases, creating new revenue and jobs in the Great Lakes state. We love to see it. 

The Next Time Mom Says You’re Playing Too Many Video Games… 

Trucking company Schneider National is using in-game ads in the popular video game “American Truck Simulator” to recruit long-haul truck drivers, according to Axios

The game, developed by SCS Software, allows players to drive big rigs (from the likes of Freightliner, Western Star, Volvo, Peterbilt, Kenworth, etc.) across the U.S. Schneider believes that those who enjoy the game might be interested in pursuing a real truck driving career with them.  

The idea came about when Schneider noticed some drivers in their CDL (commercial driver’s license) training program who had exceptional skills, and when asked, these drivers attributed their abilities to playing the video game.  

While advertising in video games certainly isn’t a new concept, Schneider may be first to stumble on this unique recruitment strategy. Barbie, we see your marketing tactics and raise you.  

California, Here We (Cleaner Trucks) Come 

California’s state air regulators and major truck manufacturers have joined forces for the “Clean Truck Partnership” — just in from Reuters.   

California aims to have half of its heavy-duty trucks electric by 2035 and mandate that all medium- and heavy-duty vehicles operate with zero emissions where feasible by 2045. This deal allows flexibility for meeting emissions rules while moving towards reducing pollution. 

As part of the deal, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) will harmonize its rules with the EPA’s 2027 regulations for nitrogen oxide emissions, providing a lead time of four years and at least three years of regulatory stability before implementing new requirements.  

The partnership involves several major companies, including Cummins, Daimler Truck North America, Ford Motor, General Motors, Hino Motors, Navistar, Stellantis, and Volvo Group North America. Aka, more big names than those viral celebrity selfies. We’re eager to watch the initiative’s progress. 

Quick Miles: 

  • In an update absolutely no one asked for, Volkswagen is partnering with Cisco to bring Webex teleconferencing to the one safe space you thought you had left — your car! The feature will be available in some Audi models as early as July (Bloomberg). Cue the “camera off” button.  
  • Two-day delivery just got a jolt with Amazon deploying 5,000 of its Rivian electric delivery vans (Automotive News). We’ll still be watching out the window like 👀 as soon as we hit “place order”. 
  • Select media got a look inside Sony’s Afeela prototype car (Axios) — which features AI, AR and VR, amidst a touchscreen dashboard entertainment system brimming movies, music, navigation and PlayStation 5 remote play.  
  • Speaking of prototypes, we finally got a Tesla Cybertruck four years after unveiling the initial design (CNN). Yeah, it’s just as weird looking in real life.  
  • Ford is slashing prices of the F-150 Lightning by as much as $10,000, citing improved material costs and plant capacity (Reuters). Did… did Elon do this
  • An acronym to know: NACS (North American Charging Standard). Now that Tesla’s Supercharger network has been opened for other vehicles to use, see which automakers are making the switch (MotorTrend). 

Need help or advice on marketing your product that’s transforming transportation? Get in touch here.