A Look Into the Future: Self-Driving Trucks

So far, 2017 has definitely been a year filled with technological breakthroughs. You might see some of this new technology soon when you’re driving down the highway. Trucks without humans behind the wheel will likely soon be appearing on highways all over! As amazing as this sounds, I’m not sure how I’ll feel if I pass a truck with no person behind the wheel, but technology sure is fascinating!

Currently, self-driving trucks are only in the testing phase and have a variety of technical problems that need to be resolved before they officially hit the road. The idea behind the trucks is that once the kinks are worked out, self-driving trucks will be safer on the roads and save companies money and willpower to transport goods. In addition to saving money by not having to pay for as many drivers, self-driving trucks will be able to coordinate movements when faced with long stretches of highway or interstate in order to save on fuel.

While self driving trucks sound great, it’s likely that we won’t see these trucks on the road for at least five years. The trucks will need to be able to move as if they were being driven by professional truck drivers. To become a professional truck driver, it takes years of practice and training, so it might take some time to get the codes for these trucks just right. With the size and weight of trucks, it’s critical to perfect the mobility of self-driving trucks before they hit the road, as a mistake with a truck can lead to the increase of fatal accidents.

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Example of a self-driving truck with a business driver inside.

In addition to getting past a few technological issues, it’s expected that when self-driving trucks are deemed as safe to be on the road they will become a highly controversial topic. Many people will likely be concerned about the effect of self-driving trucks on the job market. There are currently about 1.7 million trucking jobs in the United States alone, so it’s unclear as to whether truckers’ jobs will be affected. On the bright side for truckers, it seems that when the trucks first come out, they will always have a driver in the cab as a safety measure. Even with a driver in the cab, the self-driving truck will still have advantages as it will allow truck drivers to get to their destinations faster and also spend time working on other jobs.

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