Self-Driving Heavy Truck on the Road in the US
While it might sound a bit like science fiction when you first hear about it, a number of vehicles that are moving out of the prototype stages are actually able to drive without much human input. In fact, in Nevada in the US, there’s actually a self-driving truck (semi) that has this technology. The company Freightliner recently received a license to test their tractor trailer on public highways. They currently have two trucks. What does this mean for truck drivers around the world? Does it mean the need for truckers will disappear? No, there’s nothing to cause any worry!
Each of these antonymous trucks will always have an actual licensed truck driver behind the wheel to take control if needed. The trucks will only drive on their own while on the freeways. When they go into towns and cities, the actual trucker will take control.
The self-driving trucks have the potential to make the driver’s job much easier, which is one of the main reasons for their creation. They have the potential to reduce the amount of driver fatigue that truckers suffer while on the road. This can help them to stay more alert and to be more productive. Truckers would be able to take care of paperwork and other duties while the truck is cruising down the highway. They also help to improve safety, as they are not going to suffer from the potential of human error while on the road.
Will these be coming to Canada anytime soon? These self-driving trucks are still in the very early stages, so it would likely be some time before they have a large scale rollout. It is also too early to tell how the world at large will feel about having these trucks on the road. It really depends on how the testing goes in the US, along with public reaction to it.
Keep in mind that if these trucks were to go into production, it would mean a major initial expense that many fleets simply could not handle. The rollout will likely be very slow, and you should not expect a highway filled with these robo-trucks for a number of years, if ever. Still, it’s quite interesting, and something that fleets and drivers will certainly want to start considering. The benefits could outweigh the cost for some larger companies.