Smart trucks have been on the mind of many large scale trucking leaders. The ability to operate effectively and on time has helped develop self-driving technology. New prospects such as the trucking industry have taken further insights as to what the industry has in store.
Smart Trucks Prevent Fewer Errors
Humans can make mistakes. So can robots, but a robot can be changed and reprogrammed to learn. A human driver can do the same, but might not care enough about their job. They might be having home troubles or they could be sick. These are all factors that create unsafe variables while on the road. With automated driving, these variables are removed. If an incident were to occur, then finding out why is much easier. You can have different perspectives on an accident, but an onboard computer will not lie. It can record exactly what happened, and the factors leading up to an incident.
Smart Truck Vs Smart Cars
Highway driving vs city driving is two totally different operations. Where self-driving cars and taxis have a far larger amount of variables that could cause an incident, trucking incidents can be much larger and costly. Google’s self-learning algorithms are primarily focused on city driving. The goal is to transport passengers from one area to the next safely. Self-driving trucks will be set up to transport items and goods mostly via highways. The drawback is if one issue decides to come up, then highway driving can create a “snowball effect”.
Smart Trucks and the Trucking Crisis
The short answer is “no”. New technology within the trucking industry has not been shown to remove the need for a human driver. If something goes wrong or the truck gets into an accident, there is someone to be able to handle it at all times. Vehicles still need to be routinely checked for any issue before heading out on long-distance trips, having someone to “hold down the fort” is planned to be a safety standard once trucks are fully automated. The question and fear still remain – just ask anyone from Detroit if they don’t fear technology in the workplace. The difference is that there is still a level of safety that a human driver can achieve over a machine.
How Soon Are We Likely To See Smart Trucks?
“Within the decade” is what we are told. The benefits of automated trucking drastically decrease the wear on the driver. As for testing, it has developed at the required pace and is on track. The problem with self-learning algorithms is that they are constantly updated and machine learning AI needs to be monitored carefully as to not learn “mistakes”.