Once upon a time we lumped self-driving cars in with flying cars as futuristic stuff we’d probably never see, but the future is much closer to now than we ever thought. Self-driving cars are being tested now, and could soon be on the roads for actual use. And it didn’t take long to see the ways this technology could be applied to the trucking industry. Self-driving trucks are also in testing, though they likely won’t go into standard use as soon as self-driving cars will. However, for an industry that suffers from staffing shortages, the prospect of self-driving trucks is both a good thing and a scary thing.
Make Deliveries Faster
One day, self-driving trucks may be able to do all the work that today’s truckers handle but we are not there yet. For the near future, self-driving trucks will likely still require a driver to operate them in some capacity. Letting technology handle things like mapping our routes is something we already do, so letting the truck also handle other small parts of the job is the next logical step. However, if the technology could help reduce driver error and make deliveries faster and more efficient, in the end, that’s a win-win for everyone.
Make Deliveries Safer
There are a lot of potential safety concerns when driving a truck. Visibility can be difficult, other drivers are often inconsiderate and always unpredictable, and the truck driver needs to be able to stay calm and focused which becomes hard after many long miles of road. Self-driving technology can help alleviate some of these concerns by taking on some of the work of the driver (like monitoring side lanes and speed). When used in conjunction with a skilled driver, self-driving trucks could make the road safer for everyone.
The biggest fear with self-driving trucks is that the technology will do away with the driver entirely, and put hundreds of drivers out of work. Eventually, we will likely get to that point, but not anytime soon. In the meantime, most companies will still need a driver behind the wheel of their trucks.
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