First, what a great research context. To directly answer your question: I haven’t seen too much academic work documenting drivers’ perceptions and uses of ELD, assistive/autonomous driving, or online job boards, though I would imagine it exists given the sheer size of the industry. The studies and media stories I’ve seen on the topic only look at the impact of the technologies on the supply chain, safety, labor and employment, or the economy in general.
The drivers’ perspectives seem to be largely absent, except maybe in some of the stuff on labor and employment (e.g., analyses of potential job losses due to self-driving technology). It seems that research on acceptance and resistance have been limited to gauging the general public’s perceptions, rather than directly investigating the perceptions of affected occupational groups like truck drivers.
I can’t help but ask: What do you think contributes to the resistance you’re seeing among the less enthusiastic drivers?
My understanding of the ELD technology (and I’m sure it varies quite a bit) is that it can be used for at least two purposes: to track cargo/deliveries and to manage driver hours. If that’s the case, the perception of being micro-managed might outweigh perceived benefits of the ELD (e.g., less paperwork in the cabin, more rest). Plus, I’m prone to believe that people resist policy-mandated technologies/technology uses, even when they seem beneficial to the organization and/or its employees.
To be sure, those are guesses based on accounts of technology implementations in other industries. I can’t help but think that truck drivers might be reluctant to engage with (and, in turn, help develop) early forms of these technologies when the question “Will drivers be replaced?” keeps dominating the public discussion. Not to mention, major changes to the everyday practice of an occupation tend to challenge “what it means to be” a member of that occupation. In the case of self-driving tech and other tools, truckers might resist changes for fear of being second-mate on board their rigs. Anyway, just some thoughts! I’d love to hear what you think.