ATLANTA - Trucks will become more fuel efficient, environmentally sound, and safer due to the adoption of new technologies throughout the vehicle, according to the findings of a new global study by IBM.

The Global Truck 2020 Study, titled "Transcending Turbulence," was developed by IBM Global Business Services' Auto practice and the IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) and unveiled this week at CALSTART's Hybrid Truck Users Forum National Conference in Atlanta.

"IBM's study shows the trucking industry is eager to transform itself," said Sanjay Rishi, vice president and global automotive industry leader for IBM. "Increasingly, fleet owners choose cleaner, more fuel efficient trucks that also have advanced systems to make transport more efficient." 

The study indicates that truck industry executives believe smart systems will play an increasingly prominent role in trucks as well as transportation networks.

Key findings from the study include:

Technology: 71-percent of respondents said technology will be one of the most important external forces impacting the industry in 2020, up from 61 percent currently. Telematics will reduce service time by allowing remote and faster diagnostics and also will enable prognostic capabilities and proactive servicing.

Globalization: 54-percent of executives surveyed said globalization will be one of the most important external forces impacting the truck industry in 2020, up from 48 percent today. Truck manufacturers are just beginning to establish their global footprint, while light vehicle manufacturers have fought the hard battles of platform creation, process standardization and the development of global supply chains.

Sustainability: 48-percent of respondents said sustainability will be one of the most important external forces in 2020, up from 32 percent today. Environmental and fuel efficiency standards along with new safety capabilities mandated by government regulations will force the trucking industry to change aggressively over the next decade. 

"Truck transportation drives our economy; goods movement fills our stores and supplies our factories. But those benefits come with costs that are causing rapid change," said Bill Van Amburg, senior vice president of CALSTART, an organization dedicated to clean transportation. "That's why IBM's study is critical. It highlights the emerging needs of truck customers, the technical and environmental challenges for the industry and lays out a roadmap for clean and profitable growth for the future." 

A copy of the study can be found at