Categories: Automobile

Self Driving Trucks Are Set to Disrupt the Freight Industry

Self-driving trucks could replace 90% of human drivers in the next few years, according to a new study of advances in autonomous driving technology. Autonomous trucking is a breakthrough innovation that will improve supply chain efficiency, reduce shipping costs, reduce driver shortages, and save lives with fewer accidents. The first self-driving truck will be in a decade-long testing phase, driving more than a million miles before being deemed suitable for adoption, Daimler says, but the technology isn’t even all that new. All of these autonomous trucks are now in service and still being tested. 

Despite significant progress in self-driving trucks, a human driver is still required in the vehicle. Currently, platoon testing involves the drivers of all vehicles, but it is possible, or even probable, that in the future only the lead truck will have a human driver. 

Wireless truck platoons are as simple as a human driver driving a truck and multiple unmanned trucks following them. Vehicle platooning is when trucks move closer to each other to make better use of the road and save time, fuel and emissions. Most autonomous vehicle proponents find self-driving trucks incredibly useful but in limited and specific situations. 

Robot Drivers Are Techniquly Safer

A new study shows the consequences for truck drivers if self-management takes over their industry. Bloomberg writes that autonomous driving could lead to the loss of thousands of jobs in the trucking industry. The trucking industry is expected to have 21% more truck driver jobs by 2020. 

Bloomberg notes that carrier companies could offset 10% of human driving even if they only focused on the US sunbelt. The study shows that if Automated trucking companies were to target the American sunbelt exclusively, they could simply offset 10% of human drivers. 

What Does This Mean For Truck Drivers?

There are about 3.3 million truck drivers in the countries, although many of them do not stay in their industry for long. According to the American Truckers Association, there are 3.5 million professional truck drivers in America and an additional 5.2 million truck drivers who do not drive trucks. Meanwhile, the business is short of about 61,000 drivers, according to the American Trucking Association. 

Not surprisingly, the long-haul workforce typically only shows up every 12 months or so. Truck drivers are on the road about 300 days a year and earn about $47,000; short distance routes can be more difficult and as such pay more and attract more experienced drivers. Autonomous trucking capabilities could plummet by around 90%. 

A company can buy a fleet of self-driving trucks without paying someone else to drive it. The driver then transfers the cargo to self-driving trucks to handle less complex bulk shipments. Another station at the exit returns the cargo to the mock tanker. 

Read Also – Instances-when-car-insurance-is-cheaper-for-you


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