It never takes long for technology to catch up with every industry, and the transportation industry is no different. The number of smart phone applications customized to the needs of drivers and fleets has grown exponentially and rapidly. Google’s Android platform alone tops 7,044, a rise from October 2010, where there were only 410 transportation apps.

These new mobile apps have been great for communicating between drivers and dispatchers with real-time dispatching information. These amazing smart phones have maps which enable dispatchers to see where a number of his/her drivers are positioned and determine who is best for a particular pick-up or delivery.

For those of you out on the road these new apps mean having the ability to find the best place to get a clean shower, or the best cheeseburger, or where the best fuel prices are, which is a super-plus with fuel prices on the rise again. Another app alerts you when you’re about to violate time windows.

The electronic payment company, which offers fuel cards to fleet-managers, recently unveiled its Comdata Mobile app that permits fuel-card updates and one-time overrides and it too, has the capability to locate the cheapest diesel and gas.

Two software developers in North Dakota were inspired after a powerful blizzard hit their area last winter leaving hundreds of motorists stranded. They went to work on an app that makes you aware of hazardous weather conditions. If you’re caught in a winter blizzard unprepared, this new app pinpoints your location, dials 911, notifies friends and families, and monitors how long your gas will hold out. It also advices you to stay in your vehicle and keep the tailpipe clear of snow because a backup can cause carbon monoxide poisoning. When you hit the red emergency button, it sends out an “I’m stranded!” message. Amazing!

No doubt the number of apps will continue to grow. Maybe there will even be a trucking factoring app?