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Will Self-Driving Trucks Replace Truck Drivers in the Near Future

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Can technology completely replace human drivers? This question will be soon answered with the arrival of self-driving trucks. Fleet companies have already started thinking about the valuable benefits of self-driving trucks over truck drivers. So, is there any chance for witnessing jobless truck drivers in the near future? Let’s see,

Truck driving- attractive career for now. How about future?

Truck driving job is one of the most celebrated jobs among common people. The reason being money, risk, thrill and the danger involved in it. And of course, Education is not at all a criteria for this job. All you need is courage and impeccable driving skills.

Since the job is associated with a common man, people often assumes that the job pays less. If you are on the same page you are absolutely wrong! When you conduct serious research regarding the job, you will be able to find out that truck driving is one of the highest paying jobs considering the education required.

Since the payment is huge and mostly uneducated people are in the job they often spend the money without any consideration of tomorrow. If you are smart and able to handle your income wisely, the truck driving is indeed a suitable job for you.

However, your future is not at all guaranteed as technology is developing day by day. Already major vehicle manufacturing companies have gone so far in research for their ultimate goal, a completely autonomous truck.

Current situation

The first step towards the implementation of autonomous vehicles is the technique called “platooning”. In this technique, truck drivers drive closer to each other for the purpose of saving fuel as well as safety. Although, drivers have their hands on the wheel, the engine and brakes of these trucks will be linked to each other.

This will assist the drivers to slow down and speed up appropriately. Even though this technology is in its developing stage there is a rumour that it might be full-fledged in the coming years. By the end of this year a huge breakthrough is expected to happen in terms of Platooning technology.
However, Platooning can never be considered as self-driving. It is a test for finding the capability of industries to embrace the modern forms of automation.

Benefits and challenges of self-driving trucks

 Some benefits and challenges of self-driving trucks are listed below:

Benefits of self-driving trucks

  • Safety

With self-driving trucks, you will be able to maintain a safe speed for your trucks. This helps to reduce the accident rates caused by drivers, as they become tired after some hours.

  • Devoid of errors

Self-driving trucks will reduce the  “human mistakes”. You can imagine how the sleeping drivers negatively affect your fleet business. With the self-driving trucks, no fuel, money or resource will be wasted.

 Challenges of self-driving trucks

  •  Weight of trucks can be a crucial challenge for autonomous vehicles as they weigh 12 times greater than a passenger car. As the weight of the truck increases, it would be difficult to manoeuvre it. Also, vehicle dynamics will change on the basis of load, thereby adding more difficulty. In the case of commercial trucks,  it has to be driven more than a regular passenger car, having a life span of more than 1 million miles,  depreciation of fragile driving sensors are bound to happen often. Replacing those sensors as per the current costs are obviously expensive.
  • Self-driving trucks must have built-in computers with processors that can control and coordinate the functioning of brakes, engine, radar,transmission, communication system etc. This is indeed an issue . since the ability to communicate across components from different manufacturers is a tough task.
  • Safety is the greatest challenge for self-driving trucks. Everyone expects a certain standard from an autonomous vehicle. As it is declared to  have an error-free system even a minor flaw in safety cannot be tolerated. That is, when you seek technological assistance, you expect it to be perfect.

Soon an era of autonomous vehicles will arrive, transforming  truck    drivers to fleet managers or maintenance workers. But the fact is that people will not trust easily by handing over their important assignments to driver less trucks. Numerous investors as well as manufacturing companies claim that self-driving vehicles will definitely arrive within a short span of time.  And it is imminent that the fleet business will soon be taken over by autonomous technology.

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