The idea of self-driving cars has been in the news for some time now, and the public pretty much thinks, “Yeah, but what about when they mess up and crash?” Still, companies like Google seem pretty set on making self-driving vehicles the new normal.
Well, it’s not only self-driving cars that could change the way we move around the country– self-driving trucks **could** become the way of the future.
Imagine highways filled with automated vehicles– cars and trucks– where everything is controlled by computers. Scary thought, right? If you’re a truck driver, it definitely should be, because you’ll most likely be out of work!
There’s a company called Otto and it’s led by former Google employees. Among them are engineers who want to automate trucks because they think there’s lots of money to be made if they do so… and they’re probably right.
Right now, self-driving cars would be too expensive for the general population to afford if they were put on the market. But what if laser sensors and robotic features were put on big rigs, which already cost a lot of money?
Here’s where it gets messy. If trucks no longer need drivers than millions of truck drivers are out of work. That would suck. However, what if technology was used in such a way that it could enhance a truck driver’s job? What if developers worked it out so trucks could go on “auto-pilot” for the times when truckers are on certain stretches of road, tired, and want to take a nap in the sleeping cabin? That’s something that could improve overall efficiency for the industry.
Did you know that it’s estimated that one in every 15 workers in the U.S.A. is employed in the trucking business?
Otto recently tested a self-driving truck in Nevada equipped with cameras, radar and laser sensors. Could this technology become commercially viable? Time– and truckers– will tell.