September 21st, 2018 | Truck Driving News

There is a buzz in the transport industry about autonomous vehicles and what their introduction might mean to truckers. Although there is hype about driverless long-haul trailers, most people in the trucking industry believe that that future is just not realistic. Trucks need truck drivers, and supply chains need these human hands on the wheel. Here are some of the reasons that the invention of autonomous cars shouldn’t distract you from your career as a truck driver.

Automation is designed to assist, not replace.

Automation in the trucking industry can be assistive for drivers, but that isn’t the same thing as replacing them. For instance, automation can allow trucks to cover greater distances in a shorter amount of time by allowing the driver to rest while the truck takes over the driving for a period of time. This feature allows drivers to deliver their loads more efficiently—and profitably—but it doesn’t get rid of the need for them to be in the vehicles. Automation represents an evolution rather than an elimination of the role of truck driver.

The existence of technology doesn’t mean it will be used.

A favorite example of people in the trucking industry is aviation. The technology exists to allow planes to fly without pilots being on board, but no commercial flight takes off with fewer than two pilots in the cockpit. Combining human skill and technological advancement boosts safety and efficiency for airlines more than relying on just one or the other. The same is likely to hold true for trucking.

Public and political opinion is against it.

There are more than a million truckers, making it the single largest career field in the country. There is no will in the public or political arenas for disrupting the careers of such a significant group of workers. There are also serious concerns over the safety of autonomous trucks. Quite simply, people want truckers behind the wheel.

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