In an industry that spans across borders and jurisdictions, the trucking world often finds itself in the gray area where legality and exploitation blend. A few years back, a dark chapter in the trucking industry was revealed, implicating both trucking companies and technology providers.
Among those implicated in the scandal was Ezlogz, an Electronic Logging Device (ELD) provider whose tools were allegedly used for illicit activities. Today, the company is moving in a new direction, harnessing AI, which could potentially prevent the very abuses it was once associated with.
Ezlogz’s Sordid Past
Ezlogz’s role in the harrowing tale of driver Svyatoslav Likanov, who blew the whistle on the illegal practices of Amstel Inc., run by the Chebanenkos, paints a grim picture of manipulation and coercion.
Likanov’s experience revealed coordination between the Chebanenkos’ dispatching office in Ukraine and the U.S., manipulating drivers’ logbooks. Through an application provided by Ezlogz, Likanov’s electronic logbook was edited daily, falsifying his data and violating federal regulations.
Although Ezlogz denied any wrongdoing, the connection to the Chebanenkos’ unethical practices was a blemish on the company’s reputation.
AI Promises a Better Future
In the wake of the misuse, Ezlogz has continued to move forward, and recently, it has embraced AI technology. While the AI system is currently designed to provide assistance to drivers, including giving out warnings when they break the rules, there are plenty of other applications that could be developed, including those to protect drivers from the technology’s misuse.
The potential applications include the use of AI and data collection to prevent abuse by detecting inconsistencies and irregularities in logging data. Since AI operates in real time, there is a path to a safer and more ethical trucking industry.
Although Ezlogz has yet to pursue the use of AI for ethical oversight, it’s one possible use of the technology down the line. The sooner, the better.
The Path to a Safer and More Ethical Industry
The use of AI as a whole represents a significant step toward a safer and more ethical trucking industry. By automating many processes, AI takes human error out of the equation. It also adds a layer of unbiased scrutiny that can be used to provide information and suggestions.
Drivers like Likanov, who found themselves ensnared in a web of deceit and coercion, may soon have an additional layer of protection. Companies will be held accountable, and authorities can intervene swiftly when red flags arise.
The Ezlogz story is emblematic of a broader shift in the trucking industry. The sordid past serves as a reminder of what can go wrong when technology is misused. But it also shines a light on the potential for positive change.
With AI at the forefront of its new direction, Ezlogz is showing how technology can be leveraged to serve drivers. After another step, it can protect drivers as well, ensuring a level playing field. This could well mark a turning point for the industry, leaving behind the dark past and moving toward a future where technology serves as a safeguard, not an instrument of exploitation.