But is it true?
Nope. Not by a country mile. Will it happen eventually, probably it will – but it isn’t going to happen overnight. There are far too many issues that technology can not handle right now and certainly can’t handle them in any kind of affordable way – not yet anyway.
The doors have to be opened and closed, the landing needs to get put down and rolled up, airlines connected and disconnected and in many cases, freight has to be secured and unsecured and even unloaded.
Most city driving requires maneuvering that must take into account and deal with other motorists and pedestrians too – and these automated things are not going to be able to deal with that – not yet. As I said eventually it is probably going to happen, but it will be many more years to come.
My guess is that the first use of automated trucks will be interstate long haul coast to coast type operations. That will happen and it will probably not be too terribly far away either. And so be it. That kind of work is the kind of work most truck drivers do not want anyway. I know some drivers do like it – and they may have a problem with their runs as automated trucks begin to take over, and they will have to adapt or perish.
Like it or not that is reality and it is born out throughout history as new technologies emerge – bitching and whining isn’t going to change anything.
They will probably run these things terminal to terminal, to begin with, and then these loads will be delivered to local and regional customers by actual live truck drivers.
Eventually, as technology continues to develop – and its cost comes down (remember cell phones and large screen TV’s – not to mention laptop computer prices when they first came out compared to now?) they will continue to encroach into the other corners of trucking and very well may eventually replace most if not all truck drivers – but again – this is not going to happen overnight despite what some people keep saying.
There WILL also be ACCIDENTS or as DOT prefers to call such events – CRASHES.
Some of them will be fatal and they will be catastrophic – and there will be massive lawsuits and public outcry the first time one of these automated monsters gets away from its controllers because of a computer/sensor glitch of some kind.
Don’t think it can happen?
Look at some famous airliner crashes – planes that have gone down because of a technology malfunction – now imagine that same kind of malfunction inside an 80,000-pound truck traveling at highway speed in a populated area. How about a fuel tanker – or another kind of hazmat load?
So to those pushing to get it done faster and faster – you might want to pump the brakes a bit – and do it safely, to begin with, and that means it is going to take more time.
Even then no matter what efforts are taken it will never be without risk.
For now, trucking remains a good career option and will continue to be so for at least the next decade or so – and probably for a few year years beyond that even. That’s my humble opinion anyway, but as far as I am concerned – as of this moment anyway there has NEVER BEEN A BETTER TIME to get started in trucking and use it to build yourself a better life.
Start your career now, get in learn and grow your business and then parlay your profits into other income production opportunities and build your own business empire. If you do, by the time that trucking goes fully automated, you will be ready and prepared for it.