Self Driving Trucks - Threat or a Benefit?

November 6, 2017

 

 

 

“Trucks are going to be around for a very long time.”  Warren Buffett Isn’t Losing Sleep Over Self-Driving Trucks.  That was Warren Buffett’s rationale for investing in Pilot Flying J, the largest operator of truck stops in North America.

 

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Why Self-Driving Trucks Will Still Need Drivers

 

Issues requiring driver attention don't end at the loading dock door – tires blow out or there are system failures.  Who is going to handle those problems on the road?

 

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Platooning, the next big thing in trucking?

 

 

 

Platooning – a driving strategy featuring digitally tethered trucks traveling in single file to reduce drag – is winning supporters across the country and abroad.

 

There’s a big enough carrot there to try to realize this,”said Michael Lammert, senior fleet test and evaluation engineer for NREL.

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 Self driving trucks.  What will this mean for the nations 1.7 million truck driver?

 

 At first glance, the opportunities and challenges posed by self-driving trucks might seem to merely echo those associated with self-driving cars. But trucks aren’t just long cars. For one thing, the economic rationale for self-driving trucks might be even stronger than the one for driverless cars. Autonomous trucks can coördinate their movements to platoon closely together over long stretches of highway, cutting down on wind drag and saving on fuel. And letting the truck drive itself part of the time figures to help truckers complete their routes sooner.

 

And perhaps most important, if self-driving trucks do take hold, they figure to be more controversial than self-driving cars. At a time when our politics and economy are already being upended by the threats that automation poses to jobs (see “The Relentless Pace of Automation”), self-driving trucks will affect an enormous number of blue-collar workers. There are 1.7 million trucking jobs in the U.S., according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Technology is unlikely to replace truckers entirely anytime soon. But it will almost certainly alter the nature of the job, and not necessarily in ways that all would welcome.

 

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 Autonomous Trucks a Plus for Safety, Security, Recruitment, Execs Say

 

 MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Autonomous heavy trucks not only show promise to reduce crashes, but they also offer a potential to improve cargo security and driver recruitment, according to executives speaking here at a recent national safety and security conference sponsored by American Trucking Associations.Michael Cammisa, ATA’s vice president of safety policy and a panelist at a conference session on the impact of autonomous trucks, said that because automated technologies offer drivers 360-degree awareness, they will likely play a significant role in helping reduce heavy truck crashes.

 

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