The future of truck driving is looking more and more driverless every day. With the advent of automated trucking and developments in the industry, many truck drivers wonder whether they will be replaced by automation. There are several reasons why truck drivers will always be needed in the industry. This blog post outlines the future of automated truck driving, its impact on the industry, and what this means for truck drivers. Stay tuned to learn more!
What is Truck Automation?
Automated trucks are semi-trucks that have at least some level of autonomy. Engineers delineate six levels of automation. Level 0 refers to trucks with no automated ability and need truck drivers to do all of the driving. Level 5 is a fully automated truck that is self-driving even in inclement weather without the need for driver operation. Automated trucks that offer assisted steering and warnings for lane departures are considered a level 1. Levels 2 and 3 are being implemented by some major companies in the trucking industry in controlled environments.
What Impact Does Driverless Trucking Have on the Industry?
While there is a lot of money and a growing interest in truck automation, truck drivers should know that their jobs are still secure. Smaller logistics companies also lack the resources and investor funding to implement these technologies. The impact of automation in the trucking industry means more safety for the driver, specifically during long-hauls, decreased ship times, and reduced highway traffic. While there is a lot to gain from automated trucking, the critical need for human truck drivers will never disappear.
Will Truck Drivers Be Replaced?
A common misconception is that automated trucks will replace truck drivers. Although automated trucks have been in development for the past decade and more companies have begun experimenting with this technology, truck drivers shouldn’t stress about their job security. Since companies are only testing levels 2 and 3, they cannot operate without a human truck driver. Even if the industry transitions completely into level 5 automation, professional truck drivers will still be needed to supervise at all times in the event of an error or accident. One of the key things that driverless trucks don’t have is experience. The insight to navigate difficult situations, experience on the road, and the ability for error correction. Truck drivers are the most important part of the future of truck driving, and that will always be the case.
The Importance of Truck Drivers
Truck drivers do more than just drive. Self-driving trucks cannot loan and unload freight or provide excellent customer service dispatching details about an order. This provides job security for truckers and will for the foreseeable future. Trucking experience can only be gained by putting in miles on the road. This advantage makes truck drivers necessary for the job, and apart from driving, they have the human element to delegate tasks and the ability to carry them out. There is also the issue of safety. While self-driving cars grow in popularity and can be found increasingly on the road, automated trucks are not the same. Semi-trucks are obviously larger and lack the ability to maneuver around a potential accident or roadblock. It also takes more time for a truck to come to a full stop after braking, and there is not much room to avoid cars or people on the side of the road. The potential problems with sensors being on top of a truck’s cab also raise concerns. With the sensors and cameras located at the top of the cab, there is potential for it to be blinded by the sun, have trouble distinguishing between cars and large signs, and become impaired in inclement weather. All of these factors contribute to problems for trucks in city settings where there are constant needs for stopping, turning, and tight spaces. Truck drivers need to be there to supervise these situations and navigate them if the technology fails.
Warrior Logistics understands that truck drivers are their greatest assets. It’s their core value. If you’re worried about your job being replaced, know that Warrior Logistics will always know the importance of truck drivers and their invaluable daily impact on the industry. They hire the best people and provide top-of-the-line training to create a superior environment for them to thrive. Ready to join the team? Contact us today!