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How Automation Will Impact the Trucking Industry


 
What does the future hold for truck drivers? With the prospect of self-driving trucks,
the outlook hasn’t been positive as of late. Many reports have indicated that
automation may wipe out truckers entirely, eliminating jobs across the country.
Despite this grim prediction, many experts believe that automation will benefit society
as well as truck drivers. Here are some of the ways that this breakthrough technology
will affect the trucking industry.
 
Fewer Road Accidents
While automated vehicles aren’t accident-proof, many experts believe that they will
ultimately make our roads safer. Various studies claim that autonomous trucks will
lead to a decrease in accidents, especially during hazardous environments and road
conditions.
 
Despite autonomous trucks' safety benefits, a human driver is still needed when
certain situations arise. Truckers don’t just drive on highways – many truckers must
operate under unusual social and physical conditions that an automated vehicle
would not be able to navigate.
 
Decrease in Traffic Congestion
Another advantage of autonomous trucks is that they can greatly reduce traffic
congestion throughout the country, especially on busy highways. An autonomous
truck would be programmed to take the most efficient route and, unlike human
drivers, can operate at any time of day without rest.
 
Cost Savings for Companies
Over time, delivery companies that choose autonomous trucks will see significant
cost savings. Although purchasing autonomous vehicles will be a large upfront
investment, experts believe that it will pay off due to increased efficiency.
 
New Security Concerns
What would happen if autonomous trucking software fell into the wrong hands? One
distinct disadvantage of autonomous trucks is that they may become vulnerable to
hackers and other criminals, who could override the controls.
 
Potential Job Loss
Automation has long been a potential threat to truckers, who fear job loss as human
drivers become unnecessary. However, a more positive perspective recently has
come to light. A recent study from Uber suggests that trucking jobs will not be
eliminated due to automation – in fact, automated trucks may even increase jobs.
Uber imagines “transfer hubs” where human drivers operate self-driving trucks from
the comfort of an office. These drivers would get to return home every night and
would be responsible for multiple trucks.
Ultimately, the future is unclear for truckers affected by automation. Even if
technology is rolled out quickly, it will take some time for the trucks to be operated
nationwide. Until then, businesses and consumers will continue to rely on
experienced truck drivers, such as the ones at Diamond Delivery, for their delivery
needs.

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