TuSimple, an early autonomous Class 8 innovator, has leapfrogged all the other autonomous truck innovators by announcing on July 1 the launching of what they call "the world's first Autonomous Freight Network."
Ironically, a truck driver's biggest defense against becoming infected during the COVID-19 virus threat is something that many drivers complain about while living on the road – often to the point of having to quit driving -- the self-quarantining and extreme social distancing that comes with the job … in other words, being lonely on the road.
While Class 8 tractors are getting smarter, and even learning to drive themselves -- and getting all of the media attention – there's one other element in the trucking supply chain that is getting a boost in smarts as well, but still riding relatively under the radar.
In a move that might at first glance appear to be counter-intuitive in light of the driver shortage, a trucking group is calling for the purging of at least 300,000 drivers -- but their main concern is public safety, as this is the number of drivers they estimate are un-caught illicit drug abusers.
In this Friday Short Haul we look at the new semi-autonomous Freightliner Cascadias, see the results of a motorist survey about truckers, learn about a U.S. Xpress award, and view the rollout of new technology that helps drivers find parking spots.
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