Self-driving trucks. Just hearing the term can set off a range of emotions—excitement, intimidation, uncertainty, fear. But what do automated trucks really mean for the trucking industry?
The hype around driverless vehicles has been happening for several years. We’ve been learning about the different technologies being developed like automated braking, blind-spot alerts and automatic lane centering. We’ve even seen traditional truck manufacturers acquire the tech companies who are developing those technologies in an effort to adapt to the changing market. For many in the industry, this change can be exciting. Automated trucks could potentially result in less accidents, traffic congestion, fuel savings and more. But, for truck drivers, the push towards self-driving trucks can be unsettling – causing concern that jobs will be replaced. Although progress is being made in the direction of autonomous trucks, truckers shouldn’t be worried. In fact, truck manufacturer Daimler has said it still sees “the key role of the driver for the foreseeable future.” This should provide a sense of comfort to drivers that the service you provide won’t become obsolete any time soon!
Although self-driving trucks are inevitably going to be a part of the future economy, it’s safe to say this future is likely still a long way off. Even though advancements in automatic driving technologies are already being developed, most believe that trucks with automated features will still require a driver to be in the cab. Producing these technologies on a large scale will take some time, and there are still plenty of legal and regulatory hurdles to cross before the widespread use of self-driving trucks becomes a reality.
If you’ve been concerned about how automated technologies and self-driving trucks are going to affect your job in the trucking industry, you’re not alone. But don’t let your worries get ahead of you! There will continue to be a need for drivers for many years to come.