The Three Biggest Hindrances to Driverless Trucks
The truck driver is an iconic part of American culture. Often dubbed as modern-day frontiersmen, drivers take to the roads daily to make sure people get the products they need.
But when a person pictures a large commercial rig rolling down a US highway, they always imagine seeing a driver behind the wheel. However, all that could change with the implementation of the autonomous vehicle.
These driverless alternatives to the commercial truck have already made headlines for the past several years. From corporate acquisitions that promise to put self-driving trucks on the road soon to industry experts expressing concerns about the impact on jobs, there are plenty of stories related to driverless commercial trucks.
While these trucks do have the potential to lessen the impact of the driver shortage and reduce costs for carriers around the company, it isn’t all positive for driverless trucks. Though some tech-enthusiasts feel that the autonomous revolution will have self-driving trucks on the road in large numbers overnight, there are a few things which are still slowing things down.
The first is something trucking companies know all too well – cost. Everything has a cost in some aspect, and driverless trucks are no different. While one of the main selling points of these vehicles is the potential they have to reduce costs, there is no way to be certain on just how expensive it will be to build and service these vehicles on a regular basis.
Infrastructure is another thing that is putting the brakes on the driverless revolution. US roads and bridges are already in pretty bad condition. This was backed up by a report card handed out by the American Society of Civil Engineers. But the process for making them friendly to driverless trucks would mean more than filling potholes. It would require redesigning many entire areas of roads – a project that would take a lot of time and money.
The final hindrance to the driverless-truck revolution is public skepticism. Despite the public’s fascination with technology and its ability to make peoples’ lives easier, many are still torn when it comes to driverless vehicles. If the motoring public doesn’t think these vehicles are safe and voices those opinions, driverless trucks may have a hard time becoming mainstream for quite some time.