Would You Consider Testing Self-driving Trucks?

Topic 31494 | Page 1

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James F.'s Comment
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How many of yall would be a self driving truck tester? As an employee of knight, i might consider if asked.

Mr. Curmudgeon's Comment
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That's a really tough queation, lotsa variables and unknowns that would concern me. Responsibility in the event of a mishap? Level of direct vs. Indirect monitoring? Pretrip additional tasks with the hybrid? Un-hackability of the systems, and guarantees of same? Indemnification of driver if the SHTF in the brain of the autodriver?

Probably more, those come to mind firat.


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BK's Comment
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If it paid significantly more, I’d do it. But I’d want a hefty company paid life insurance policy. And if it was a self backing truck, that would be even better.

Davy A.'s Comment
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I am on principle vehemently opposed to it. Tactically however, its sound to find out its vulnerabilities and weaknesses so that they can be exposed and exploited. Although we are a long way off from autonomous trucks, it is inevitable. From a financial standpoint, it greatly benefits companies, it removes a very expensive labor burden. From the government, and this is where the big push is coming and why it will be pushed out prematurely, is that given the success of truckers striking and convoys of late, we are an Achilles heel to authoritarianism. In a matter of days, truckers can bring a nation to its knees and force it to be accountable. We prevent people from being subjects and keep them as free citizens. We control the means of production and distribution of everything.

The railroads successfully contained the threat of trucking to their existence via regulation and legislation until Carter popped deregulation. I think for truckers, that it will be easier to do with this once the inevitable fatal incidents occur as public sentiment and the court of public opinion will be solidly against self driving trucks. I do expect some very heinous safety incidents to occur as I feel these systems will be pushed into production long before they are ready.

The two systems, one with a driver and one being autonomous, can not function together past a transition. Financially it makes no sense for a company to invest millions into a system designed to eliminate drivers and then also continue to bear the cost of a driver. Even more so, given that the driver will have to be On duty, not driving when supervising the computer. Not to mention the litany of issues resulting from culpability in the event of a collision. Make no mistake, these systems are designed with one and only one primary purpose, to eliminate costs by eliminating the driver. In fact for Embark, the company partnering with Knight, their stated purpose is to eliminate drivers and have fully autonomous vehicles.

Im not sure that I can override my contempt at Knight for engaging on this path if Im asked to drive one, I doubt that I will be considering Ive been very vocal about my opposition, I would estimate that at two thirds of our drivers that I have spoke with are very strongly opposed to it. Many are stating that they are planning on leaving the company as a result, weather that it is true or not is another matter. If I was to test one, it would simply be for tactical purposes in this battle. We have some allies in government, but desperately need some lobbying power. Missouri is ahead of the ball on this and has a bill drafted that would ban the development, sales and use of autonomous and semi autonomous trucks state wide. We need to see more of this kind of legislation.

James F.'s Comment
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I like what you said Davy, Knights end goal is to 86 us for sure

BK's Comment
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Davy, I really enjoy your well thought out and well written comments.

My “guess” is that we are as far off with self driving trucks as NASA is to putting people on Mars and bringing them home again. I don’t see this experiment as any real threat to the traditional driver. Heck, the Mars thing might happen first! Too many unaffordable technical difficulties to solve. I guess we can be thankful that so much money is being launched into space, because there is less money to create a system where the good old American truck drive goes extinct.

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