Are Driverless Trucks Going to Be a Reality?
This is something we were all wondering: When would vehicle manufacturers make the jump from driverless cars to driverless trucks? At first, it might not seem like a great idea because of the numerous implications. However, you need to understand that this desire to move on to larger vehicles has been born out of necessity. You can’t argue against the fact that self-driving technology will do wonders for various shipping or transport companies.
Why would these companies want to take advantage of driverless trucks? Let’s not forget that self-driving technology has plenty of benefits to offer:
- There is no denying that the improved safety aspect is one of the main advantages of self-driving vehicles. Let’s face it: Humans are prone to making errors, no matter how much attention they are paying to the things around them. With driverless trucks, companies will not have to worry about the drivers causing accidents because they were too tired to pay proper attention.
- The efficiency aspect can also not be neglected. While it might sound heartless at first, you need to understand that any large company will always be interested in the profits first and the employees second. With self-driving technology, they would get to take advantage of faster deliveries, since there would not have to be so many stops made en route to the destination.
- Many large companies see driverless trucks as a godsend, especially since there has been an increased truck driver shortage that started 2 years ago. This way, transport and shipping companies won’t have to worry about overworking their prized drivers and their shipments not arriving on time.
- Another great thing about this technology is that it also benefits the environment. Not only will it reduce the quantity of greenhouse gas emissions that are in the atmosphere, but it will also offer better alternatives to dealing with high traffic roads, thus ensuring better traffic flow.
Industry officials say they do not plan on replacing their drivers with self-driving technology
Plenty of people seem to assume that the use of driverless vehicles means that a lot of people will lose their jobs. Now, the first thing you need to understand is that something like this will always happen when progress is being made. There’s simply no way around it. However, it doesn’t mean that jobs associated with said field will become obsolete.
Driverless trucks will definitely be reliable and smart, but they will still require an experienced driver behind the wheel. The plan is to have the driver perform tasks that deal with steering and accelerating, while also outfitting the vehicle with various connected car-like features, such as the active braking system. This will prove to be a benefit for the company, since it keeps both the cargo and the driver safe.
Also, the technology that will be employed is going to be used to connect the front truck with the back truck in a “deeper” manner, thus ensuring that the latter completely mimics the movements of the front truck. Not only will this increase safety, but it will also seriously increase fuel savings for the companies.
Actually, this process, called “platooning”, was already used with two trucks and the feedback registered from the drivers has been positive. They understood that this technology doesn’t mean they’ll lose their jobs, but that their jobs will be made easier and more comfortable.
However, safety seems to be the main concern with driverless trucks
It’s no secret that the life of a truck driver is quite a dangerous one. Not only are they prone to developing all sorts of health issues, but they also risk getting into accidents due to fatigue. Now, driverless trucks could definitely solve this issue in the long run, but it will take some time to develop the perfect system. Also, it will take some time to convince people that this type of technology can be trusted.
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