Topic this week: Current Events Article – Global Transportation
Instructions: Provide relevant responses, with references if required, to the following 2 posts from other students or instructors.
The posts discuss current events relating to global transportation to include intermodalism, economic impact, and/or transportation legislation as it pertains to the U.S. and internationally.
The article I have chosen is about the innovation of the autonomous trucking technology that seems to be looming over the industry. In recent decades the freight trucking services have had a difficult time finding and keeping drivers. The American Trucking Association estimates 160,000 driver positions will go unfilled in the next decade. Companies are looking for alternative ways to meet the challenges. The answer they have come up with is self-driving trucks. Self-driving trucks are already here and they’re already beginning to change the industry. But, automation won’t completely wipe out truck-driving jobs; it will likely only change the job duties.
In the article, they made the correlation between pilots in the aviation industry and future truck drivers. Stating that pilots don’t completely fly the aircraft the entire time, but. they are trained to work and understand the technology controlling the aircraft. The same would be true for truck drivers they would be trained to understand the technology and assist whenever a problem arises that the automation cannot handle.
A number of companies are already testing out the technology, one. of them being Tu-Simple. Tu-Simple starting testing the technology back in 2015, operating 37 trucks out of Arizona with trained truck drivers behind the wheel. Tu-Simple’s Director of Public Affairs Robert Brown says that the reviews so far, been nothing but positives. The company states productivity and efficiency on the road have increased significantly.
The trucking industry will continue to need humans behind the wheel for at least the next decade; that is until they can perfect the technology for a completely driverless truck. For now, it’s safe to say that change is on the horizon.
Other Student Response:
Autonomous trucking most certainly is the future and the fact that it is actually safer than humans with less liability for companies to employee somebody says a lot. It also makes sense how you mention that its difficult for companies to find long term drivers and I think that just goes to show how technology is rapidly changing the future. People in school now typically are not seeking those types of hours and laborious jobs, but instead looking for a career with technology since that is what keeps evolving