Trucking technology may one day evolve to the point that the tractor can drive itself, but that is likely to come in small steps rather than giant leap.
Moderating a panel discussion at CCJ‘s Symposium in Asheville, N.C., Bishop Consulting Principal Richard Bishop downplayed the amount of obstacles in the path of autonomous trucking.
He suggested roads and highways don’t need to be significantly changed or redeveloped to accommodate automation and vehicles, trucks don’t necessarily need to be connected to one another and the amount of new laws and regulations required to put autonomous trucks on the road is overstated.
Furthermore, Bishop dismissed speculation that high automation will replace human truck drivers. He says technology will instead allow drivers to focus on other aspects of their job.
“Nothing has ever been done for vehicles that allows divers to do something else with their brain,” he says. “That’s what changes everything.”
U.S. Xpress Executive Chairman Max Fuller agreed, and said advancements in technology are happening quickly. “In the next 5 to 10 years, we’ll see more technology than we’ve seen in probably the last 50 years,” added
When U.S. Xpress hits Level 5 autonomy, Fuller says he doesn’t envision taking the driver out of the truck.
“They do a lot more than just hold the steering wheel,” he says.
Full CCJ story here.