With the rapid expansion of technology and artificial intelligence, several companies have begun the process of developing automated vehicles. In addition to designing passenger vehicles to reduce the number of accidents caused by driver errors, companies such as Tesla and Uber have begun working on self-driving trucks to improve the trucking industry. If you are a truck driver, you may be concerned about how the implementation of self-driving trucks will affect your job. While there are a few drawbacks to this new technology, many experts believe that automated trucks will cause the industry to grow and thrive instead of eliminating jobs.
Benefits for the Trucking Industry
Self-driving trucks offer several benefits to the industry. In addition to improving the overall lifestyle of truckers by allowing them to spend the majority of their time working near their home instead of requiring them to be on the road for more than 200 days each year, self-driving trucks offer the following advantages:
- Fuel efficiency: Automated trucks set to one constant speed reserve fuel stores to help the environment.
- Productivity: Self-driving trucks streamline the shipping process.
- Cost: When self-driving trucks are used efficiently, they help reduce the cost of freight to improve shipping costs.
- Congestion: Using self-driving trucks will cut down on the number of large vehicles in the cities.
Disadvantages for the Trucking Industry
There are still many hurdles to cover before automated trucks become common on the highways. Current models use either radar or laser sensors to navigate correctly on the highway, but the placement of these sensors remains a huge concern. Placing them up high allows them to locate potential hazards quickly, but it also poses the problem of potentially being damaged by the sun.
Another problem is that the trucking culture would be changed when drivers were primarily working to deliver in the cities rather than transporting freight over long distances. With the current culture, the congestion and low wages with minimal benefits have a bad connotation that would need to be fixed before truckers would willingly flock to those jobs instead of taking cross-country, regional, or drayage jobs.
Effects on the Trucking Industry
Instead of eliminating trucking jobs, self-driving trucks will likely only cause the industry to grow because truckers perform a wide variety of jobs within their driving responsibilities. The trucks themselves will not be able to perform maintenance or maneuver through crowded city streets safely, so truckers will still be required for the industry to remain stable and productive. Instead, the presence of self-driving trucks will simply change how the industry works. Self-driving trucks may take over the highway driving with a single trucker on board to take over in the event of an emergency, but drivers will still be needed in the cities for individual deliveries. This change in the industry will also increase productivity by allowing the onboard drivers to sleep while the truck is in automatic mode instead of stopping for the truckers to rest. Freight could be shipped much more quickly.
While it may appear at first that regional trucking jobs would disappear with the implementation of self-driving trucks, the opposite is true. These changes will most likely cause the industry to flourish instead of eliminating the need for drivers, so there is no need to worry about disappearing jobs. If you are interested in applying for regional trucking jobs, contact Duncan and Son Lines, Inc. for more information.
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