29 November 2018
Autonomous Trucks In The Future
The advent of automated driving technology hovers over our heads to transform the
trucking industry in the years to come. Transportation is a crucial element in the supply chain of
any business. Once 2018 came along, the trucking industry was suffering from many challenges
due to the lack of truck drivers, and accidents happening on older model trucks. Autonomous
technology, even though it's in a early stage, has been regarded as the savior to the trucking
industry. Autonomous trucks will be beneficial to society because they will improve safety and
help the economy dramatically.
In the future autonomous trucks will be among us, saving lives and reducing death
counts nationally every year. Many accidents happen due to the trucks jackknifing or losing
control, but it's not always the truck. Passenger vehicles can cause an accident with the truck as
well by colliding with them due to distracted driving and so on. David H. Freedman, the author
of “Self Driving Trucks” adds “buses and trucks kill 4,000 people and injure another 100,000.
Most of those accidents happen due to fatigue, more than 90% of accidents happen because of
human error (P.7). If autonomous trucks were publicly used, accidents will occur less often due
to the truck being A.I. The truck will be able to drive long distances without stopping for
anything other than fuel, reducing the delivery time. Jeff Plungis, the author of “Should Trucks
be Self Driving?” writes, once the technology start maturing and it's matured enough, highway
accidents and deaths will drop (P.1). With the technology maturing, deaths will drop
significantly due to the trucks knowing how to react to all kinds of situations. Equally important,
how the drivers of these trucks will be affected by the autonomous trucks.
Many people think switching over to the autonomous trucks will cause them to lose their
jobs or receive pay cuts. Even if the trucks are automated doesn't mean they will lose their jobs.
In David Freedman’s article he summarizes how drivers will be affected. In the early stages of
the autonomous trucks they will not be able to drive fully automatically. They will need a driver
in the cab to help (P 7&8). The trucks can drive on highway roads while the driver can catch up
on paperwork, sleep, talk to family, or even run a business. Once the truck has reached the exit to
its destination, the driver will manually drive the truck from there on city roads and unload the
product. In Katy Steinmetz article, she discusses about truck drivers hours. The average hours a
truck driver can work a week is sixty to seventy hours. They are also maxed to eleven hours a
day (P.1). Since the truckers need rest after driving long hours, they need to stop and rest. With
the autonomous trucks, they can rest without stopping. The truck will continue on the road wh...