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Are Truck Drivers Going to Be Automated?

Automation is changing the way that goods are shipped across the United States. According to Redwood Logistics, about 70 percent of goods are transported by trucks. But fewer young people are choosing to become truck drivers. As a result, truck driver jobs are in short supply. In fact, according to a study, 51,000 truck driver jobs across the country are already unfilled. As automation advances, more truck drivers will be forced to look for other careers.

Automating trucks will be a gradual process. During the early stages of the process, a truck driver will still be needed to drive the truck. The extent of automation a truck can have will depend on how advanced the technology is. According to SAE International (formerly the Society of Automotive Engineers), there are five levels of automation.

Self-driving trucks will eventually need more drivers to keep them safe. However, there are a few things to keep in mind. First of all, truck drivers will need to maintain a high level of safety. In addition, they must maintain good air quality in their vehicles.

Will Autonomous Trucks Take Over?

The rise of self-driving trucks has raised concerns in the trucking industry. Many believe the automation will lead to the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs, including truck drivers. However, the American Trucking Association is supportive of the advancement of autonomous trucks and is planning to endorse them by the end of 2020. In a statement, the board of directors framed the future of automation as beneficial to truck drivers.

There are already several dozen companies working on autonomous trucking. Some have even gone public. Others are partnering with major trucking companies, like UPS and Navistar. In fact, some companies are already testing autonomous trucks and deploying them in real-world scenarios. While the technology is still a long way from being fully deployed, companies such as TuSimple are making progress in advancing autonomous trucking. They are already conducting test operations in Arizona. These include depot-to-depot autonomous runs. The companies are currently testing these trucks with some human supervision, but they plan to remove it completely by 2021.

Autonomous trucks have the potential to revolutionize the trucking industry, which accounts for $700 billion in revenue and impacts virtually every global economy. The technology can save companies millions of dollars by reducing the need for human drivers and improving efficiency. In addition to cutting costs, these autonomous trucks will be safer and more fuel efficient. However, the potential for job displacement among millions of truck drivers has created a number of concerns among trucking experts.

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What Will Replace Truck Drivers?

As autonomous vehicles become more popular, the need for truck drivers will be reduced. Autonomous trucks could drive themselves as early as 2027, and they could even steer themselves by using artificial intelligence. But even with these advancements, truck drivers still perform important tasks. For example, they check their vehicles for safety and cargo, maintain logs, and provide customer service. While many tasks are automatable, loading a truck cannot be. However, a pallet jack can help with that.

Several studies show that the number of truck drivers in the U.S. is unlikely to drop below three million. Automation would likely be most effective in long-haul transport, which accounts for one-quarter of the industry. But even in this case, the number of job losses would be minimal. In the worst-case scenario, the number of job losses could be less than one-quarter of the current workforce.

Automated trucks can help shippers cut costs by reducing the need for drivers. However, it will still take decades for automated trucks to fully replace truck drivers. In the meantime, displaced truckers could look for new jobs in short-haul routes or in newly-created logistics jobs.

Will Trucking Jobs Go Away?

While trucking is still a necessary part of American life, the industry is facing a decline in demand. The economy is not growing as fast as it was, and demand for truckload services has decreased by over 58%, according to a Bank of America survey. This drop is partly a result of changing consumer spending habits. Currently, there are 640 trucking companies in bankruptcy. That’s almost three times more than in 2018.

The future of trucking jobs is uncertain. As the adoption of automated technology increases, it may reduce the number of truck driving jobs. Some experts predict that autonomous vehicles will eliminate about 25,000 jobs each month. However, the transition will happen slowly, with some tech-savvy companies leading the way. Eventually, the industry will become more automated and self-driving, and there will be very few truck drivers in America.

One of the biggest problems in the trucking industry is low wages. In order to attract good drivers, trucking companies need to raise wages. Otherwise, the low wages of entry-level drivers will cost some carriers their business. As a result, there will be a shortage of drivers in 2019.

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Is There a Future in Truck Driving?

Self-driving vehicles may someday replace truck drivers, but for now they require a human to operate them. Until such time, truckers will continue to have to deal with pedestrians, cyclists, and other road hazards. In the meantime, companies are investing heavily in research and development to develop self-driving vehicles. Some companies, like Tesla, are currently considering hiring truckers to operate their automated vehicles. However, this option would come at a high cost for companies. Moreover, the training programs and costs associated with introducing a completely automated fleet would be a huge cost for companies. Until this technology becomes ubiquitous, truck drivers will probably remain in the driver’s seat.

The trucking industry is facing many challenges, including business cycle fluctuations, changing workforce demographics, and automation. This industry will continue to be vital as long as people need to buy goods.

Will Truck Drivers Be Needed in the Future?

Currently, 3.3 million people work as truck drivers across the United States. Long-haul driving is a low-paying gig, and drivers spend up to 300 days on the road each year. The job averages $47,000 per year, and requires long hours. The pay is lower, but short-haul routes are trickier and attract more experienced drivers. As a result, many trucking companies are shifting their operations to newer, more efficient business environments.

In the near future, autonomous technology could eliminate the need for truck drivers altogether. This would free up drivers to perform a range of tasks such as securing cargo, checking vehicles, maintaining logs, and providing customer service. However, some jobs cannot be automated, such as loading trucks. However, there are ways to reduce the physical burden on truckers with technology such as pallet jacks.

As autonomous trucks become more prevalent, some truckers fear they will lose their jobs. However, industry experts do not believe the future of trucking is bleak. While truckers will need to adapt to new roles, they will be needed for a long time to come. Some may even be moved into supervisory positions or local deliveries.

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How Do Driverless Trucks Get Gas?

Currently, driverless trucks use natural gas to fuel their vehicles. As the technology advances, they will become more efficient. However, they still need to get gas. In the meantime, a human driver can pull the truck to a fueling station and pump the gas. A human driver will be responsible for paying the attendant, and he or she can also handle mechanical issues.

Trucks are heavier and need to sense road conditions far in advance. Lidar is ineffective in these conditions because the practical range is only 200 meters at best, and a fully loaded truck traveling at 120 km/h needs much more accuracy. In contrast, TuSimple uses multiple HD cameras to view the roadway 1,000 meters ahead. It then uses this data to calculate trajectories and detect other vehicles.

In addition to military applications, self-driving trucks have other applications. When they drive on the interstate, they may start off with a lead driver. But as the technology improves, the lead driver will become less necessary. Eventually, the lead driver may be removed entirely.

What Trucking Companies Use Automatic Trucks?

Despite the many benefits of automatic trucks, some trucking companies are hesitant to switch to them. This is because the conversion process can lead to mechanical problems, which can cost thousands of dollars. Other trucking companies are hesitant to switch to automatic trucks because they fear drivers will become drowsy and not pay attention to the road.

Swift Transportation, for example, orders automatic trucks but also orders manual trucks for veteran drivers. The company began the transition to automatic trucks about three years ago. It still allows drivers to shift gears manually, which is relevant for operating the truck on slippery roads. In addition to being easier to drive, automatic trucks are also more affordable.

The shift from manual to automatic is faster and smoother. It also saves fuel. AMTs are especially beneficial for young inexperienced drivers. The modern versions of these trucks are highly advanced, weighing engine torque, vehicle speed, and angle. Modern AMTs first hit the market in 2015 and are becoming more popular than ever. Freightliner trucks, made by Daimler Trucks North America, use the technology in their semis.

Learn More Here:

1.) History of Trucks

2.) Trucks – Wikipedia

3.) Best Trucks