How Many Years Do We Have Left Before Autonomous/computerized Trucks Make Us All Unemployed?

Topic 15131 | Page 2

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Rob S.'s Comment
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This morning I will need to do a blind side back into a dock from a street in San Francisco. This is something I'd like to have a self driving truck do for me. However, ain't gonna happen, ever, for all the reasons listed above.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Self driving does not mean without an operator. This technology does not replace the driver, it definitely changes the job. The extent of which isn't completely clear.

The political climate in this country is far different than it is in Europe. The laws and regulatory compliance changes required to support this are staggering. Widespread adoption is a very log way off and may only effect specific corridors.

And like TractorMan said we have trains. Although there are two in the freight cab, their jobs are to basically shepard the consist from point a to b. In case you weren't looking a high percentage of today's freight trains are made up of trailers and containers. The end game of moving truck trailers across country without a driver has been in play since the 50's. Over forty percent of today's transcontinental rail freight is intermodal. Has that impacted the demand for truck drivers? No.

Not worth the worry.

Intermodal:

Transporting freight using two or more transportation modes. An example would be freight that is moved by truck from the shipper's dock to the rail yard, then placed on a train to the next rail yard, and finally returned to a truck for delivery to the receiving customer.

In trucking when you hear someone refer to an intermodal job they're normally talking about hauling shipping containers to and from the shipyards and railyards.

Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar

While automation systems have made some decent strides - autonomous (self-driving) trucks are still a long way off, and certainly, minimum of a decade before you see them actually authorized for testing in all 48 states.

Yeah - google has a self-driving car - it's crashed a couple of times too. Minor crash for a google car. NOT SO MINOR for an 80L lb rig.

The adaptive cruise control, lane keeper assist and automatic braking - is pretty cool on my 2016 Honda Pilot. I've put a bunch of long distance miles, on, with minimum driver input (including the hills on I-77 between NC & VA).

But these systems are going to have to be REALLY PERFECT - before it puts the driver out of a job.

And I'm an old fart at 56 - so I guess, "not in my lifetime" is also a valid answer for me.

Rick

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Unfortunately, right on cue, a fatal wreck just happened when a Tesla car, in 'Autopilot' mode, hit a tractor trailer broadside, killing the driver.

In an article from The Verge titled Tesla driver killed in crash with Autopilot active, NHTSA investigating:

A Tesla Model S with the Autopilot system activated was involved in a fatal crash, the first known fatality in a Tesla where Autopilot was active. The company revealed the crash in a blog post posted today and says it informed the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) of the incident, which is now investigating.

The accident occurred on a divided highway in northern Florida when a tractor trailer drove across the highway perpendicular to the Model S. Neither the driver — who Tesla notes is ultimately responsible for the vehicle’s actions, even with Autopilot on — nor the car noticed the big rig or the trailer "against a brightly lit sky" and brakes were not applied.

In a blog post from Tesla Motors:

When drivers activate Autopilot, the acknowledgment box explains, among other things, that Autopilot “is an assist feature that requires you to keep your hands on the steering wheel at all times," and that "you need to maintain control and responsibility for your vehicle” while using it. Additionally, every time that Autopilot is engaged, the car reminds the driver to “Always keep your hands on the wheel. Be prepared to take over at any time.” The system also makes frequent checks to ensure that the driver's hands remain on the wheel and provides visual and audible alerts if hands-on is not detected. It then gradually slows down the car until hands-on is detected again.

Sooooo.....autonomous trucks, anyone? How about not.

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.
Matt S.'s Comment
member avatar

Unfortunately, right on cue, a fatal wreck just happened when a Tesla car, in 'Autopilot' mode, hit a tractor trailer broadside, killing the driver.

In an article from The Verge titled Tesla driver killed in crash with Autopilot active, NHTSA investigating:

double-quotes-start.png

A Tesla Model S with the Autopilot system activated was involved in a fatal crash, the first known fatality in a Tesla where Autopilot was active. The company revealed the crash in a blog post posted today and says it informed the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) of the incident, which is now investigating.

The accident occurred on a divided highway in northern Florida when a tractor trailer drove across the highway perpendicular to the Model S. Neither the driver — who Tesla notes is ultimately responsible for the vehicle’s actions, even with Autopilot on — nor the car noticed the big rig or the trailer "against a brightly lit sky" and brakes were not applied.

double-quotes-end.png

In a blog post from Tesla Motors:

double-quotes-start.png

When drivers activate Autopilot, the acknowledgment box explains, among other things, that Autopilot “is an assist feature that requires you to keep your hands on the steering wheel at all times," and that "you need to maintain control and responsibility for your vehicle” while using it. Additionally, every time that Autopilot is engaged, the car reminds the driver to “Always keep your hands on the wheel. Be prepared to take over at any time.” The system also makes frequent checks to ensure that the driver's hands remain on the wheel and provides visual and audible alerts if hands-on is not detected. It then gradually slows down the car until hands-on is detected again.

double-quotes-end.png

Sooooo.....autonomous trucks, anyone? How about not.

It is a bad idea. What if an entire fleet gets compromised by a hacker? Then you have the potential for multiple mass casualty incidents. Given the woeful state of network and computer security, I sure as hell hope the driver does not get replaced.

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.
Bill F.'s Comment
member avatar

I wonder if he was sleeping like this Tesla autopilot idiot.

sleeping%20driver.jpg

Kenneth L.'s Comment
member avatar

My prediction is this,... The trucks will not be totally autonomous. It will be like cruise control is today. It's useful on the open road, but not very useful for docking or backing into parking spots or even in high traffic.

Self driving assists will be put in to let the driver relax a bit while it's on the open interstate. When traffic gets thick, the driver will most likely want to take over, just like today for cruise control.

The only problem I can see, is that more drivers will be falling asleep while the cruise-driver is turned on. Thinking they can just close their eyes just for a few moments to help relieve the burning. Next thing you know, someone is sleeping at the wheel.

A dead man switch is probably going to be needed here. Press this button every minute or an air horn inside the cab is going to sound.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

Tman's Comment
member avatar

My guess on automatically controlled trucks will hit the road is when my trucks Qualcomm navigo doesn't freeze up for at least 3-days

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.
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