Who Will Fill the Gap in Trucking: Humans or Machines?
The trucking industry has had a lot to contend with in recent years. From new regulatory measures concerning logging devices and hours-of-service rules to problems with infrastructure, the field of freight transportation has certainly not been without its hurdles.
One of the most pressing issues in trucking continues to be the shortage of talented drivers working consistently in the industry. While hiring numbers do shoot up occasionally, it is estimated that an additional 250,000 truck driving jobs still need to be filled across the country.
The shortage has become a hot topic when the subject of autonomous vehicles comes up. Driverless trucks have the potential to change the game in trucking, leaving many people wondering whether they could help lessen the burden of the driver shortage.
Driverless trucks are still in the rudimentary stage. A human driver and engineer are still required in the cabs of many autonomous models, ruling out the possibility of them replacing human labor in the present. But when the technology improves, it is likely these vehicles can be used to help meet demand.
Drivers have been leaving the trucking industry for years due to concerns about scheduling, pay, and other factors. Steps have been taken to help bring drivers back and to retain current talent, but it is unclear how quickly these steps will bring a steady increase in drivers.