I’m only peripherally involved in the trucking industry, but am close enough to spot trends. We’ve seen the Tesla approach to dashboards: the rig provides an LCD or other large screen device, whereas the cloud provides the instruments. You may hop from cab to cab while keeping many favorite apps, including those relating to the truck itself. There’s a special fuel gauge you like best? Make it a part of your next dashboard.

For all this internal customization to work, the truck has to support a VM, or something like it. My favorite speedometer app is going to have to get sensor data from somewhere. The idea of some open standard, whereby all instrumentation becomes interchangeable, is science fiction across brands, but a possibility within a specific line or series, or so I might suppose.

Keep in mind that a business mobile is not an eighteen wheeler necessarily, and its interior, like the stereotypical monitoring or surveillance van, might support a number of workstations. A working pod or suite need have nothing to do with local monitoring. One needs a receptionist, a scheduler, people who know about the specific work of this “business mobile”. Picture lots of dashboards then, a miniature control room. The idea of templates in the cloud becomes more believable as we move away from the driver’s dash. The role of “driver” is but one among many.

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