Robots could be taking over for truck drivers in the near future.
- In an effort to fix these flaws and deliver goods many companies are looking to make autonomous freight trucks.
- Many companies are developing electric freight trucks that can deliver goods without a driver and would completely change the trucking industry.
- These trucks could potentially cut logistics costs by some $140 billion annually, according to a study from the University of Washington—and lead to lower freight prices.
- For now, driverless trucks would solve a current industry problem—not enough drivers to handle all the demand.
Why it’s news
The truck driving industry is worth around $750 billion and is essential for consumers to get goods, but it is filled with flaws.
The trucking industry is huge and is an essential part of the world considering freight trucks deliver around 70% of all goods.
The problem is—truck drivers can only drive so fast and for so many hours a day thus limiting how much goods can be delivered daily.
In an effort to fix this many companies are working extremely hard to bring commercial autonomous freight trucks to the roads and the majority are working to make them electric.
Not only would these electric trucks be better for the environment, but considering they will be driverless that means the vehicles will be able to run at all hours of the day and night, companies will not have to pay a driver, and the trucks are programmed to know the roads so they could result in less accidents.
Although the idea is great and could cut back on many costs—there are still big problems.
One problem that stands in the way is not enough EV charging stations. The electric trucks would have to stop to charge and the U.S. is not equipped with enough charging stations to supply that many freight trucks with power.
The U.S. is working on a cross country roadmap of EV charging stations, but until that is finished this is a major issue.
Another issue is weather and safety. Many autonomous cars have been equipped to take on weather and be safe on the roads, but no tech has been made yet for a vehicle the size of a freight truck.
The technology is in the works, but until it is perfected it looks like autonomous freight will stay off the roads.