– self-driving trucks mark a technological benchmark for the future of transport
On May 5th, 2015, a world premiere took place: The first official license was granted for an autonomous truck to drive on public roads. The market leader Daimler will test two vehicles, developed and produced by the American Daimler daughter Freightliner, on the roads of Nevada. There must be a driver inside the vehicle, yet this person has the option to give all driving controls to the car’s robotic interface.
This is the beginning of a technological revolution, which could change the entire concept of shipments by road, making transport less dependent on the “human factor”. Overworked and stressed drivers could become a thing of the past within the upcoming decade. Truck accidents might drop by 70%. Another reason for using autonomous trucks is that the cost of gasoline could be reduced by 14 %, since the digital network of these vehicles are able to anticipate and avoid traffic interruptions faster than any human driver. If everything works, the position of the truck driver will experience a positive change. Instead of driving, the driver will have time to calculate upcoming shipments, to organize loading and unloading, and will be relieved of “road stress”.
The “human factor” will always be needed in transportation, no matter how the cyber world develops. We need to get ready to give up some work that we got used to do ourselves, and to allow the future into the transportation world in order to improve our concepts of freight and shipment.