Autonomous trucks are coming sooner than you think and maybe faster than you expected. This isn’t just hype: there are signs that autonomous technology is ready now or very soon. But there are also signs that it will take longer for autonomous trucks to hit the roads than some may have led us to believe. Let’s look at where we stand today with autonomous technology in the trucking industry.
How Far Are We From Autonomous Trucks?
As of right now, autonomous trucks are already on the road. They’ve been on the road for years. And, no, they are not a reason for the UK truck driver shortage. The problem is that trucking companies need to be faster to adopt new technologies and hesitant about investing in new technologies for fear that their competitors will be able to gain a competitive advantage by doing so first.
The technology exists for autonomous trucks today, but it’s not being used widely because no one wants to be left behind.
Hype Versus Reality For Near-Term
In the near-term, autonomous trucks are not a reality. The technology is still being developed and tested; it will take time before the software becomes reliable enough for use on public roads. In addition, many factors make trucking an industry requiring human drivers for some time. While we have seen progress with self-driving cars like those from Tesla (TSLA), this success has yet to be replicated in the trucking industry because of its complexity and size. However, as traffic congestion increases around big cities, this problem could help spur further innovation in autonomous vehicles.
At this point, they will likely be used more like semi-autonomous vehicles: they’ll still need a driver at the wheel who can intervene if necessary but won’t be driving most of the trip themselves.
U.S. Tries to Set Trucking Safety Standards
As it stands, companies like Tesla and Uber are developing self-driving technology. These companies have been testing their systems in some states, but they’re not allowed to use them on public roads or sell them to consumers.
But the U.S. Department of Transportation is trying to set standards for autonomous vehicles and a framework for the safe testing and deployment of autonomous vehicles. The department has also been working on a framework for the safe testing and deployment of autonomous vehicles.
What The Future Holds?
Autonomous trucks have been a hot topic in the trucking industry for years, but now they’re finally starting to appear on the road. So what’s the future of autonomous trucks?
How soon will they be common?
They are still in their infancy. The first semi-autonomous vehicles were released this year and are only available for lease in Florida and Texas (where testing is legal). But we can expect more of these vehicles to come on the market soon as manufacturers work out any kinks in their technology. Daimler has already launched two different models with Level 3 autonomy: the Freightliner Inspiration Truck and Freightliner eCascadia. Customers like Walmart and Volvo Trucks are currently testing both.
Autonomous trucks are closer than you think!
You may be surprised, but autonomous trucks are already being tested on the road. They’re already being used in limited situations, such as long-haul driving or delivery routes previously mapped and programmed into the vehicle.
Autonomous vehicles will also play a vital role in improving safety standards for truck drivers. A recent study found that accidents were more likely to occur during bad weather conditions, when drivers were fatigued or distracted with other tasks like texting, talking on the phone, or eating while driving. You won’t have to worry about those things with autonomous trucks because they can follow preprogrammed routes without human intervention!
In the near future, autonomous trucks could be a reality. They will likely come in three forms: platooning and self-driving trucks that drive on their own. Semi-autonomous trucks, where there is one driver, and the vehicle drives itself, and fully autonomous trucks that don’t need a human driver at all.