Union Truck Drivers be forewarned, your days of steady employment are numbered, within a couple of decades those jobs may not exist at all? You may not even be able to get a job with Uber at that point. You see, autonomous trucks are real and this technology is almost ready NOW. Personally, I say bring it to market immediately – we need it. Just about everything is brought by truck, imagine those costs being reduced, let’s talk shall we?
Not long ago we were discussing this at our think tank and Jordan Watson states; “There are still quite a few barriers to overcome:
– Manufacturer liability
– Public adoption
Yes, the technology and concept is ready, the critical paths are not. My estimate is that autonomous mode will become a FEATURE in the next 5-8 years, from there, it comes down to those 4 key points being fully reconciled on how quickly it accelerates from there.”
Agreed, Jordan is correct, and it is amazing isn’t it how fast it is all unfolding. Like the Rail Industry, Airline Sector there will be much opposition in Trucking from unions. Still, the overall increase in inefficiency and cost will mimic a massive tax cut in the trucking industry as all that labor will be cut so drastically, it also gives much advantage to the big boys – J.B. Hunt, Wal-Mart Distribution, FED EX ground, etc. This lowering of cost will be like a shot of adrenaline in the economy since everything we buy, rent, trade comes by truck at least part of the way during its journey to market. Lowered transportation and distribution costs will definitely help the economy even if the phase in is between now and 2025.
As far as the progression, the technology is ready as we both agreed. The only challenge now is “FEAR”, unions, politics, lawsuits, and risk-reward decision matrix executives and bureaucrats. Freightliner, Volvo Trucks, Peterbuilt, Kenworth, etc, all have programs and the technology, I see the problem more-or-less as Jordan does, and liken it to the use of commercial UAVs and the FAA getting their act together so we can order a Pizza or Frappachino and have it delivered to the balcony of our home. If you’d like to discuss this topic more, I am all in. The future of transportation is coming, Please consider all this and think on it.