TruckingTruth Article: Self Driving Vehicles Are Coming Soon You Say? I Say Please Stop Clowning Us

Topic 19683 | Page 1

Page 1 of 5 Next Page Go To Page:
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Hey folks! We have our first article release in a new section we've put together called:

Truck Driving News, Interviews, And Happenings:
The People, The Stories, and The News From The Highways Of America

We're going to be doing op-ed pieces, interviews, driver features, and all kinds of interesting stuff.

Our Truck Driving Blog section has traditionally been mentoring-type articles like you would find in our Truck Driver's Career Guide. They are mostly aimed at helping new drivers prepare for life on the road.

This new section will be a much wider variety of things, and we're going to be featuring a lot of interviews with drivers from our forum and we'll be quoting you guys a lot in articles we'll be doing.

Today's release is our first and it was actually a spontaneous one, inspired by an experience I had yesterday trying to get some really simple directions on my phone. It brought to the forefront for me, for the millionth time, the pathetic state of software in our society today, and how utterly absurd the idea of self-driving trucks is today.

So I whipped out an op-ed piece called:

Self Driving Vehicles Are Coming Soon You Say? I Say Please Stop Clowning Us

Have a look and give us your thoughts right here! And if you don't have any thoughts then maybe you could send us a ham sandwich? Maybe some apple pie? Whatever ya got is fine. We're hearty eaters.

Enjoy!

smile.gif

DWI:

Driving While Intoxicated

Cornelius A.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey you need to send Siri to the dungeon lol.... but on a serious note the insurance companies do not even want to hear about 18 wheelers being on the country highways without a driver sitting behind the wheel. If that happens you will see them running through the mountains closing down their trucking departments. Ameliorating the safety features and the living spaces for the drivers is a welcome idea but driverless truck????????wtf.gifwtf.gif

Bobcat_Bob's Comment
member avatar

I have often wondered how a driver less car or truck, will handle a loss of GPS signal whether it is due to technical problems, weather or say a tunnel. Would it just slam on the breaks and stop where it is? Will it continue to charge ahead?

When I was driving a limo on a highway outside Chicago there was a accident and the police had us pass by on the gravel shoulder for maybe 5 or 600 feet, how would a automated vehicle do that?

Charles S.'s Comment
member avatar

Wait, did you just say you talked to your phone and it responded??? If someone told you, while holding your cool flip phone, that in a few years your phone will talk back to you, you probably would have reacted the same way you're reacting now. Our parents and grandparents drove cars that were built by hand, now they're built by robots. Sure, driverless trucks may not happen tomorrow, but never under estimate progress.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Charles Wrote:

Wait, did you just say you talked to your phone and it responded??? If someone told you, while holding your cool flip phone, that in a few years your phone will talk back to you, you probably would have reacted the same way you're reacting now. Our parents and grandparents drove cars that were built by hand, now they're built by robots. Sure, driverless trucks may not happen tomorrow, but never under estimate progress.

You are correct...however a voice response from a VRU chip is a whole lot simpler than automating the path of an 80,000 behemoth surrounded by Mommies, mini-vans and small children at 65mph.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
I have often wondered how a driver less car or truck, will handle a loss of GPS signal whether it is due to technical problems, weather or say a tunnel. Would it just slam on the brakes and stop where it is? Will it continue to charge ahead?

And ya know, I have to admit I could have written so much more in that article, but it was already really long and it could have turned into an entire book. One thing I didn't mention is one of the scariest ideas of all. Any piece of software attached to a network is vulnerable to hacking. All of it. There is no such thing as completely secure software that's attached to a network, and there never will be.

Not only that, but any type of hacker or virus that can get into software can also find ways of spreading itself to other units. So what happens when, not if, but when a virus permeates the software and starts spreading itself through other vehicles? That news is going to spread coast to coast in a heartbeat, and how are people going to react? They're going to do the only thing you can do - either throw up their hands and cast their fate to luck or get the heck out of that vehicle until the problem is resolved.

And what is that going to do to our economy? And our confidence?

And how will the bureaucrats react? It's always fun to watch 70 year old Government officials who can't even send an email try to to make sweeping technological policy changes.

I mean, we don't even have autonomous trains for God's sake. There's still a conductor (do they still call em that?), who had better have one of those awesome hats on! And they're on rails! We put men on the moon in 1969 and we still have train conductors? I mean, personally I think it's worth it just to keep those hats around. But seriously, come on.

And of course we all know planes have been able to fly themselves for half a century or so, and yet there are still two pilots at the controls. They may not be doing a whole lot more than programming the autopilot much of the time, but again, they're making great money and they get to wear cool hats!

Is it too late to come up with a cool new style of trucker hat? Baseball hats just aren't cool enough. Someone come up with something. We'll make sure it becomes all the rage! I'll gladly be the first to wear it!

never underestimate progress.

I would say the problem is that way too many people are overestimating progress. Look back throughout history and look at all of the things we should have had for 50 years now.

Yeah, I talked to my phone. And you know what it said? It said it couldn't find the campground that was 8 miles away. But I was impressed it could spell Iroquois! That's a start.

And believe me, no one is more fascinated by technology than I am. I've loved it since I was a little kid. I'm not kidding when I say I was able to name all of the Apollo missions and their purposes, and all of the astronauts of those missions, when I was in 4th grade in like 1979/1980. I went cover to cover through my first computer programming book on the BASIC language when I was like 12. I'm a math and science guy all the way.

That's why I'm so let down by the current state of technology. We should have been on Mars in the 80's. We should have been in flying cars by then. We should have had awesome virtual reality and 3D television and all of it decades ago. But we don't. And we're not gonna have driverless trucks in the next couple of decades, or maybe beyond, either.

If someone told you, while holding your cool flip phone, that in a few years your phone will talk back to you, you probably would have reacted the same way you're reacting now

The streets of Boston and New York were filled with electric cars in the early part of the 20th century. Would anyone have believed I'd be driving a gasoline burning V8 in 2017 and waiting at the railroad crossing for a conductor to drive his gigantic, smoking, diesel burning locomotive on by?

When we landed on the moon in '69 would anyone have believed we'd be here today in 2017 saying we haven't left Earth's orbit for almost half a century?

Never underestimate the ability of people who are trying to raise money to persuade the public with their hype.

smile.gif

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Bobcat_Bob's Comment
member avatar
Never underestimate the ability of people who are trying to raise money to persuade the public with their hype

Mr. Musk is the master of that, every few months he announces some other technology that is years ( at best) away, but people keep throwing money at him.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Ed P.'s Comment
member avatar

First of all--I don't like the idea of a computer driving 80,000 pounds down the road. That said......I am pretty sure that all the reasons in this article about self driving trucks why they will never replace the driver were all said when cars replaced horses, when computers were first introduced, when the robots were slated to build cars......on and on. The BART system in San Francisco is totally automated.

The technology is evolving. The first generation of auto transmissions for trucks were terrible. Now? In less than 5 years the vast majority of fleet tractors will be automatic. The first computers took up several floors of a large building. Now? They fit into the palm of your hand.

I envision something like this......the driver will essentially be a passenger. Yes, there will be times when a driver will over ride the automation....like maybe alley docking in a tight spot.....maybe. There are self parking cars today. There will be self parking trucks tomorrow.

To deny that this is coming is to deny the history of industrial evolution. There are no hand made cars made today. There are no hand wired computers today. The economics of competition will dictate innovation and evolution as it has in the past. I own a piece of electronics that I bought for about 30 bucks that, even if it was possible to make it 20 years ago, would have cost twenty times that. IT does absolutely everything the literature said it would.

They're coming........and to deny it is silly.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Ed, the biggest thing I notice in your examples is the time frame involved in these changes.

Computers used to take up entire rooms - yeah, in the 50's and 60's......you're talking over half a century ago.

Cars replaced horses. Yeah, but when? There's an original letter along with the original truck in a truck stop in Nebraska, if I remember correctly. It was a letter from a farmer to the truck dealership saying how excited he was that this truck replaced his team of horses and he could take a lot more hay to town in a much shorter frame of time. That letter was from the early 40's if I remember correctly. Cars had been around for almost 50 years and people were still using horses.

And I never said that self-driving vehicles would never happen. I said it wouldn't happen anytime soon, at least for decades.

You said:

The first generation of auto transmissions for trucks were terrible. Now? In less than 5 years the vast majority of fleet tractors will be automatic.

The first automatic big rig I drove was in about 2002 I believe, and that was far from the first one that had come out. They thought then that they had perfected it to the point that a few major carriers were changing over completely. I drove one for almost 6 years. Now it's 2017 and you're still saying "In another 5 years" we'll be mostly in automatics. That's what they said in the late 90's and we're still saying that. How many more decades are we going to be saying "5 more years and we'll be there"?

Back in 1969 we put men on the moon and we haven't left Earth's orbit since the very early 70's. Almost a half a century later and we're still circling the Earth like little kids with training wheels.

From Wikipedia on Wernher Von Braun who was the "Chief Architect of the Saturn V rocket of the Apollo manned lunar missions":

von Braun also worked out preliminary concepts for a manned mission to Mars that used the space station as a staging point. His initial plans, published in The Mars Project (1952), had envisaged a fleet of 10 spacecraft (each with a mass of 3,720 metric tons), three of them unmanned and each carrying one 200-ton winged lander[63] in addition to cargo, and nine crew vehicles transporting a total of 70 astronauts. Gigantic as this mission plan was, its engineering and astronautical parameters were thoroughly calculated. A later project was much more modest, using only one purely orbital cargo ship and one crewed craft. In each case, the expedition would use minimum-energy Hohmann transfer orbits for its trips to Mars and back to Earth.

It continues later:

In an internal memo dated January 16, 1969,[88] von Braun had confirmed to his staff that he would stay on as a center director at Huntsville to head the Apollo Applications Program. He referred to this time as a moment in his life when he felt the strong need to pray, stating "I certainly prayed a lot before and during the crucial Apollo flights".[89] A few months later, on occasion of the first Moon landing, he publicly expressed his optimism that the Saturn V carrier system would continue to be developed, advocating manned missions to Mars in the 1980s

So the man who led the Apollo Missions had worked out the overwhelming majority of the math for missions to Mars by 1952. He expected us to be there by the 80's. Here we are in 2017 and we're not an inch closer than we were back then. Yeah, someday we'll get there. Someday.

I could do this for days. You could write an entire series of books on all of the promises that technology has never kept. Of course it advances. But it advances at only a small fraction of what it could, or should.

If we were serious about driverless vehicles we would be developing new systems, specially designed roadways and vehicles for driverless transport. But we're not, and trying to retrofit today's automotive and big truck infrastructure to accommodate driverless technology is ludicrous. It's like trying to retrofit a 1970 Volkswagen Beetle for space flight. It makes no sense whatsoever.

Bud A.'s Comment
member avatar

Ed, the biggest thing I notice in your examples is the time frame involved in these changes.

Cars replaced horses. Yeah, but when? There's an original letter along with the original truck in a truck stop in Nebraska, if I remember correctly. It was a letter from a farmer to the truck dealership saying how excited he was that this truck replaced his team of horses and he could take a lot more hay to town in a much shorter frame of time. That letter was from the early 40's if I remember correctly. Cars had been around for almost 50 years and people were still using horses.

My dad told me stories about when they got their first tractor in 1942. His dad didn't get rid of the horses for another five years or so after that.

Back in 1969 we put men on the moon and we haven't left Earth's orbit since the very early 70's. Almost a half a century later and we're still circling the Earth like little kids with training wheels.

That is, if you believe we actually sent men to the moon. Or even ever sent anyone through the Van Allen Belt without killing them with radiation. But I'll stop now, since I know this has instantly put me in the kook category for most of you, if I'm not there already. (Which is good, since you would really hate what I might say about Wernher von Braun's past behavior in Peenemunde when he was busy building V1 and V2 rockets to rain death on Great Britain. Hint: That isn't even the worst of what he did there.)

If we were serious about driverless vehicles we would be developing new systems, specially designed roadways and vehicles for driverless transport. But we're not, and trying to retrofit today's automotive and big truck infrastructure to accommodate driverless technology is ludicrous. It's like trying to retrofit a 1970 Volkswagen Beetle for space flight. It makes no sense whatsoever.

This is absolutely the best point. Silicon Valley is in love with the idea of driverless cars, and they're busy testing them in several states, but the idea of changing everyone over to driverless cars anytime soon is silly. And driverless trucks is even more ridiculous.

Page 1 of 5 Next Page Go To Page:

New Reply:

New! Check out our help videos for a better understanding of our forum features

Bold
Italic
Underline
Quote
Photo
Link
Smiley
Links On TruckingTruth


example: TruckingTruth Homepage



example: http://www.truckingtruth.com
Submit
Cancel
Upload New Photo
Please enter a caption of one sentence or less:

Click on any of the buttons below to insert a link to that section of TruckingTruth:

Getting Started In Trucking High Road Training Program Company-Sponsored Training Programs Apply For Company-Sponsored Training Truck Driver's Career Guide Choosing A School Choosing A Company Truck Driving Schools Truck Driving Jobs Apply For Truck Driving Jobs DOT Physical Drug Testing Items To Pack Pre-Hire Letters CDL Practice Tests Trucking Company Reviews Brett's Book Leasing A Truck Pre-Trip Inspection Learn The Logbook Rules Sleep Apnea
Done
Done

0 characters so far - 5,500 maximum allowed.
Submit Preview

Preview:

Submit
Cancel

Join Us!

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

About Us

TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

Read More

Becoming A Truck Driver

Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

Learn More