Here are five things worth knowing today:
1. In what the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is calling the “most complex consumer safety recall in U.S. history,” Takata Corp. has declared that nearly 34 million airbags in its cars and trucks are defective. According to ABC 9 in North Central Wisconsin, the chemical that inflates the airbags can explode with too much force, thus blowing apart a metal inflator and sending shrapnel into the passenger compartment. The defective airbags are responsible for six deaths and over 100 injuries worldwide, according to the report.
2. Tuesday night the House approved a two-month federal extension for transportation projects. The extension would maintain funding for the Highway Trust Fund through July 31. According to the New York Times, the bill now goes to the Senate, which has only two days to act before Memorial Day recess.
3. Though fully automated trucks are about a decade away, partially automated trucks can enhance driver performance and increase efficiency, Fortune says. “According to trucking analyst Andy Ahern, 60% of wasted truck fuel is caused by driver over acceleration – for instance, hitting the gas on the way down a hill, only to have to brake to slow down at the bottom,” Fortune reports.
4. Deteriorating bridges in one Wisconsin county have become problematic for truck drivers and businesses depending on truck deliveries, according to SW News 4U. Crawford County has 17 bridges that are rated “structurally deficient,” the report says, and “22 that weight restrictions lowered a few to 10 tons or less.”
5. The truck driver shortage is a topic of discussion in today’s top supply chain and logistics news from the Wall Street Journal. According to an WSJ logistics report, trucking industry groups say there is a shortage of as many as 40,000 drivers. The report also states some believe that number could increase to more than 200,000 in less than a decade.