Role of Automated and Self-Driving Trucks in Shaping the Future of the Trucking Industry
The news of the self-driving truck has taken the trucking industry by storm. Some experts predict a negative impact on the trucking industry, while others believe that this will make the roads safer and provide more flexibility to truck drivers all over the United States.
As a truck driver, you likely wonder what this new technology means for you, your career, and the future of the field of trucking. Find out more about where automated trucking is going and how it will affect you.
The Development of Self-Driving Trucks
First, you should know that the creation of the automated truck is something that has been in the works for a long time. In addition to the one that was just approved in Nevada, there is one that has been developed in Germany. As this technology spreads, there may be more and more self-driving trucks in the world.
This truck uses the Highway Pilot system, which CNet reports utilizes radar sensors and stereoscopic cameras. These technologies allow the truck to stay within lane markers, adjust speed and response to stimuli, maintain a safe following distance, and responded to traffic conditions.
This truck has already been approved for use in Nevada. However, CoverHound notes that this truck is not yet for sale. The test model is being tested extensively in different conditions and settings to make it as safe as possible.
It may still be several years before trucking companies can purchase an entire fleet of automated trucks for use by their drivers, but the future of trucking is coming and it is important to prepare accordingly. The Daily Mail reports that these trucks are at least two years away from hitting European roads.
What This Means for the Future of the Trucking Industry
You can ignore the naysayers who claim that the automated truck is taking away jobs from drivers and replacing human drivers. The developers of the automated truck note that the human driver is still the most important part of a safe trucking experience. Drivers can do other tasks while cruising on the highway, but they are still needed to navigate city roads, take highway exits, switch highways, and observing the Highway Pilot. Automated driving will not be available in certain situations, such as snow.
Rather than replacing truck drivers, the goal of this truck is to make driving safer and easier for truckers. By taking some element of human error out of navigation, this technology is expected to reduce accident rates and maximize fuel efficiency. Truck drivers who can rely on the Highway Pilot for some or much of their route can attend to other activities and avoid fatigue, a common cause of serious accidents on highways.
Overall, you can expect the automated truck to improve the trucking industry and create better working conditions for drivers. Safer roads benefit all of us, so let’s look forward to seeing what happens with the automated truck in coming years.
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