Autonomous driving technology reached trucks now, and it is growing for the future. Companies are trying to get as much mileage for how self-driving technology is usable in trucks. New technology like self-driving AI can make them more powerful and efficient, but at what cost?
Automation is going to eliminate many different jobs. Driving will be among the first. Should you worry yourself over self-driving trucks? The answer is a resounding no.
The evolution of self-driving trucks that can drive itself is a worry. Even then, you’re not getting that any time soon. There’s too much legislation that has to happen to see likely results.
Why Self-Driving Trucks Aren’t Here Just Yet
Here are five reasons why you won’t see self-driving trucks any time soon.
Legislation Needs to Update First.
Almost every state has a way to provide testing of new driving technology, which includes autonomous trucks. Even then, it is still Federal jurisdiction to create a final decision on rules about these behemoths. It’s a matter of national concern once these 90,000-pound cargo trucks start rolling out.
The common idea will be that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will handle the regulation of self-driving trucks. In September 2019, the lower House passed legislation that unlocks many restrictions on introducing self-driving cars to highways. The Senate is also thinking about it.
Automated commercial-use trucks are not on the list as of now. Separate legislation will not be too hard to do. Even then, there’s a lot of research that still needs to go into it.
For starters, it’s a matter of missed opportunity not to add more massive classes of trucks. A sweeping automation bill that does not include crucial vehicle classes can be a setback. That is the reason why legislation will take time.
The government needs to make sure of every move they do to prevent any problems with current national traffic with automated trucks. Technology needs to mature further, and they know it.
Driving Complications Need Ironing Out.
If you have experienced driving a truck, you know that it’s not as easy as driving a sedan. It is a challenging task that needs superior experience and intuition to do. Artificial intelligence needs the right ability to compute and mimic complex driving maneuvers to keep safe.
Can AI learn how to weave through a busy port area? Can it learn how to back up to load materials without a hassle? Can AI be fast enough to compute for inclement weather, hard turns, cliffs, and adverse topography?
We know that artificial intelligence can eventually do it. The computing power of machine learning grows more and more as days come and go. Even then, that’s still quite a bit away.
Self-Driving Trucks Still Need Drivers.
Experts agree that the technology that can make self-driving trucks real will come from different fields. Even then, once trucks are on the road, they will still need a driver to handle edge cases.
Expert drivers are crucial in bad weather or construction situations to avoid truck accidents and auto accidents. They also need to take over as a way to oversee the controls. A self-driving AI in the years to come will only be around level 4 – an AI that needs little human intervention in edge cases.
A level 5 AI – a truck that needs no intervention is still far away.
Autonomous Trucks Need to Help Humans.
Long before artificial intelligence can displace your average truck driver, they need to prove helpful first. Autonomous technology will start helping provide safe driving opportunities to drivers. Systems like collision avoidance, lane departure warning, and stability control should make commercial trucks safer before anything else.
Many transportation experts see the future of trucking like that of airplanes. A trucker’s eventual job will be like that of a pilot – working the instrumentation to make sure the truck gets from point A to point B. All they need to do after is to take over in more complex situations.
The Trucking Industry is Huge.
The trucking industry is a big industry that has different functions. There are 36 million trucks registered for commercial use, with 3.68 million class 8 trucks. This number represented 3.5 million truck drivers in 2018.
Even if the technology for self-driving trucks comes out today, it will take years to penetrate the market. Companies tend to work out their trucks until its end of life service and beyond, so displacement won’t happen any time soon. Different freights, purposes, and even needs should also mean a different self-driving AI every time.
It will take at least two decades for self-driving technology to become full-auto trucks become common.
No Need to Worry Now
Self-driving trucks are still far in the future. With current technologies, there are many reasons why you should not worry about it. While we can expect that it’s going to come, artificial intelligence for autonomous trucks are still miles away. You’re always going to need truck drivers for different needs, so worrying now won’t do you any good. If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident and need the help of a personal injury lawyer, the attorneys at The Clark Law Office can help. We charge no upfront fees and you only pay if you receive compensation for your injuries!