Mobility is an important aspect of life in many countries. Self-driving trucks have the capability of making it smoother. Every day, all around the world, vehicles perform critical services (such as transportation or recreation) and societal positions (e.g., statements or status symbols). They are a part of our culture and heritage. Any change in mobility has an impact on the basic essence of modern society. And it’s difficult to conceive a more fundamental change in mobility than autonomous driving.
Autonomous driving is both a practical novelty and a revolutionary shift. To convert a high level of enthusiasm and curiosity into low levels of fear, greater technology, increased safety, and strong ethical and regulatory frameworks are required. As a result, having high expectations for these latter elements is understandable.
Let’s first get the definition of autonomous driving out of the way.
What are autonomous or self-driving trucks?
Self-driving trucks are commercial vehicles that employ artificial intelligence (AI) to automate anything from shipping yard operations to long-distance deliveries. Due to industrial challenges such as growing delivery needs and driver constraints, as well as simple operating areas like highways, these smart trucks may be the first to access public roadways on a large scale.
This technology improves the safety and efficiency of everyday logistics by utilizing long-range, high-resolution sensors, a variety of deep neural networks, and high-performance, energy-efficient computation. With the advent of e-commerce and same-day delivery, autonomous trucks are becoming an increasingly important part of pushing the world forward.
What does Autonomous Truck Driving Mean for Truckers?
Many individuals believe that self-driving trucks will have the opposite effect. More workers will be required in automated trucks as they become more common. Many companies are testing their vehicles with the purpose of always having a driver in the cab. There are far too many things that can go wrong for there to be no human in the truck when it is on the road.
However, this does not imply that trucking jobs will not change. The main difference is that drivers will be expected to do less manual driving, which may be considered an advantage. Consider how a truck driver’s job is becoming more and more comparable to that of an airplane pilot. The truck will be capable of driving itself, but the public will feel a lot better knowing that someone will be behind the steering wheel just in case.
If you’re a truck driver afraid about losing your job to self-driving trucks, we hope this information puts your mind at ease and gets you enthusiastic about the destiny of the trucking industry. Even if autonomous truck driving takes over the highways, truck drivers will remain critical to the industry.
How can Self-Driving Trucks Benefit the Fleet & Logistics Industry?
Aside from the issue of jobs, driverless logistics is bound to have repercussions in other areas. Furthermore, before large-scale adoption of the technology is practicable, the industry must overcome some legal difficulties.
The mix of enormous benefits and considerable obstacles is what makes self-driving trucks such a contentious issue. Self-driving trucks will have a significant impact on the logistics business in several ways.
- Safety & Liability
Current liability legislation is founded on the assumption that vehicles are driven by people who can be held liable in the event of an accident. The question of responsibility is critical to the future of autonomy since both regulators require confidence that the party responsible will be held accountable should things go wrong.
It’s unclear who should be held accountable in the event of an autonomous vehicle accident: the manufacturer, the software driving the car, or the supervisor overseeing the fleet from afar. Nonetheless, the industry’s response to the accountability quandary is unequivocal.
While driverless trucks are not adept at dealing with certain edge situations, such as a flat tire, autonomous vehicles are generally safe.
- Driver Working Conditions
Nobody can doubt that truck drivers have it tough. Drivers work long and inflexible hours, their routes take them far from friends and family, and they are expected to perform their own grunt work if necessary.
The goal is for autonomous technology to supplement drivers’ efforts and, in the end, lessen the strain of long-distance driving, heavy lifting, and other activities. As a result, driverless trucks are expected to alleviate many of the constraints of long-distance trucking while also improving working conditions for drivers.
- Environment-Friendly Logistics
The future of the transportation and logistics business is and must be green. To lessen its impact on the environment, the fleet industry will have to depend on a mosaic of solutions such as optimization via IoT technologies, alternative fuel sources, and others. In this regard, self-driving trucks will play a key role in making logistics more environmentally friendly. Driverless trucks will be able to improve their performance in relation to environmental goals, lowering fuel usage.
What are the Constraints of Driverless Autonomous Vehicles?
Even when autonomous driverless cars are touted as the future of logistics, they come with a variety of concerns that must be anticipated and addressed effectively. Here are some of the drawbacks of employing an autonomous truck for fleet and logistic operations:
- Because autonomous trucks work on software, hackers can easily infiltrate the software and create weaknesses for delivery, such as overriding the controls.
- Even if a self-driving truck has a person inside supervising things, a driver alone cannot detect software tampering.
- A great deal of technology and intelligence is required in the processing and management of self-driving trucks, which can fail due to a little coding error or computer malfunction.
- The licensing infrastructure for autonomous trucks poses a considerable challenge to state and federal governments.
- While new technological advancements in the trucking sector can make our lives easier, they can also put the driver at risk of privacy breaches.
How should Fleet Owners Prepare for the Driverless Technology Revolution?
Fully autonomous trucks are now deployed in limited places where vehicle movement is restricted to pre-defined geographies. However, highway/freeway logistics application trucks must be driven by a human. These vehicles are gradually incorporating self-driving technologies from levels 1, 2, and 3.
Fleet owners can prepare for this driverless technology in the following ways:
- First and foremost, fleet owners need to educate themselves and their drivers about the pros and cons of self-driving trucks.
- Exploring the various levels of autonomy and choosing the right one for your fleet.
- Understanding the legal and safety requirements pertaining to self-driving vehicles.
How efficient are self-driving trucks?
Along with lowering the costs related to human drivers, robots can outperform most human drivers in terms of fuel efficiency. Almost every autonomous trucking startup claims to save roughly 10% on gasoline when compared to human-operated trucks.
How do driverless trucks refuel?
The robotic arm used in autonomous truck refueling technology eliminates the manual component of connecting a truck to refuel. The excellent thing is that the necessary technology is already available.
How safe are self-driving vehicles?
While self-driving cars are constantly improving, they are incredibly safe for some types of accident risks and extremely dangerous for others. New advances also improve the safety of self-driving cars. Currently, self-driving cars have a greater accident rate than human-driven trucks, but the casualties are less severe.
Will self-driving trucks eliminate the need for drivers?
If you’re a truck driver afraid about losing your job to an autonomous vehicle, we hope this information puts your mind at ease and gets you enthusiastic about the destiny of the trucking industry. Even if autonomous truck driving takes over the highways, truck drivers will remain critical to the industry.