Will Legislative Protections Hinder Autonomy?
One of the biggest questions concerning regulatory controls in trucking has always been with the motivation behind them.
Big companies that campaign for stringent, far-reaching controls seem to assume every carrier has the same capabilities and resources for compliance at their disposal. Either that, or they know the opposite is true but prefer to make the case otherwise.
Though the purported intention behind most trucking regulations deals with keeping the roads safe, there are always those who say some laws are designed to tie the hands of drivers, figuratively speaking.
Particularly, smaller carriers and independent drivers are often the ones who find themselves facing tough regulatory burdens created by and for larger carriers and bigtime trucking associations.
The topic of autonomy in truck driving is getting a little less fuzzy each day, as the race toward this technology reveals more information and shows that driverless trucks could be a reality sooner rather than later.
With the technology already on the market and test runs already in the books, companies are already lining up to petition for driverless truck legislation.
Will this legislation have the same effect as many other types of regulatory controls in trucking? The curious thing about autonomy is that it poses similar threats to carriers of all sizes, at least in the long run.
The growing pressure of having jobs replaced or yielding to machines as a matter of economic necessity is concerning. For many carriers, it’s so concerning they’d rather take their chances with far-reaching laws that plan to limit and control driverless trucks rather than seeing how things develop naturally.
Smaller carriers may be able to benefit from driverless vehicles too, as they could help slim rosters get the additional capabilities they need. This could make smaller carriers viable and help them meet a level of demand they could’ve never met otherwise.
Legislative protections from trucking companies may do more harm than good in some cases, and could slow things down. However, it is unlikely that any amount of legalese will have a major impact on stopping driverless trucks from becoming a prominent part of the industry. Current proposals regarding driverless trucks are still under review.