Self Driving Semis

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G-Town's Comment
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Geez... I was so hopeful Todd would offer some of his insight on this subject.

Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
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Geez... I was so hopeful Todd would offer some of his insight on this subject.

He’s too busy eating the BBQ sauce he complained about years ago. Lol.

G-Town's Comment
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Geez... I was so hopeful Todd would offer some of his insight on this subject.

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He’s too busy eating the BBQ sauce he complained about years ago. Lol.

Francis F.'s Comment
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One of the biggest tricks (scams) in the tech world is to appear like you are about to bust out with something really big. That draws the attention of investors. Many of these so called leaders in autonomous truck technologies have no intention of ever bringing their tech to the marketplace. They are actually looking for someone to buy their company. They could care less if the tech develops further or gets buried by one of their competitors.

They want the easy money that comes from the start-up phase. They don't really understand how to deal with the realities of being profitable in a competitive marketplace. As long as they can sell out big during the development stage they are happy to move on to the next cutting edge tech development.

Disclaimer...

I'm not a financial advisor. I would never have invested in Tesla. I never in a million years would have seen them get to where they are now.

From a tech perspective self driving semi-tractors already exist and there are some on the road today. They are, of course, driver assisted due to the many variables you mentioned. Tesla is a Unicorn. Elon is just a very savvy manager and was determined to not fail, but to also differentiate enough to be that unicorn. We will begin seeing the infrastructure for autonomous friendly roadways in the next decade, and autonomous vehicles being ubiquitous in about 15-20 years. Nevertheless, especially with commercial vehicles, there will always be an operator "at the wheel" in case of emergency. Invest in things such as LIDAR and tech that will help build out the infrastructure.

Chief Brody's Comment
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A lot of the focus of this thread has been on the technical aspects of self-driving semis, but technology does not drive the market. Think VHS recorders with all the bells and whistles and microwave ovens, which are obsolete and mundane respectively.

In our mass media and advertising driven culture, sex appeal drives the market to a certain extent, but at the end of the day you have to provide goods or services that people want on a repeat basis.

For those who are thinking about investing in the next evolution of transportation you would need to think bigger picture rather than simply saying there's technology for self-driving vehicles there for that the future of transportation.

A reference was made to Google and Amazon. Neither one of those are outstanding technological innovations in their function. Google is simply a central repository for mass amounts of information and navigation. Amazon is simply an online shopping store. Nothing groundbreaking with either one of those.

Tesla is not necessarily a self-driving car company but rather an electric car company. The self-driving aspects of the car are simply an additional function of an electric car. And the basic appeal of a Tesla is that it's a luxury car that appeals to a certain cultural sentiment of environmentally conscious. Again no rocket science there.

If you really want to think of something that was a groundbreaking technology that changed things, think of George de Mestral and his hunting trip in Switzerland.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Francis F.'s Comment
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The technology exists. The next, and biggest hurdle, is preparing the vehicular infrastructure to accommodate them en mass. I think, from a perspective of the future of autonomous vehicles, that's the bigger picture.

And that involves technology as well. Along with changes in our transportation systems. There could conceivably be a completely separate set of roadways built out specifically for such vehicles. This is already being accomplished in Las Vegas with the Tesla tunnels.

There is a great deal of planning and work to be done. And hopefully it gets done right.

A lot of the focus of this thread has been on the technical aspects of self-driving semis, but technology does not drive the market. Think VHS recorders with all the bells and whistles and microwave ovens, which are obsolete and mundane respectively.

In our mass media and advertising driven culture, sex appeal drives the market to a certain extent, but at the end of the day you have to provide goods or services that people want on a repeat basis.

For those who are thinking about investing in the next evolution of transportation you would need to think bigger picture rather than simply saying there's technology for self-driving vehicles there for that the future of transportation.

A reference was made to Google and Amazon. Neither one of those are outstanding technological innovations in their function. Google is simply a central repository for mass amounts of information and navigation. Amazon is simply an online shopping store. Nothing groundbreaking with either one of those.

Tesla is not necessarily a self-driving car company but rather an electric car company. The self-driving aspects of the car are simply an additional function of an electric car. And the basic appeal of a Tesla is that it's a luxury car that appeals to a certain cultural sentiment of environmentally conscious. Again no rocket science there.

If you really want to think of something that was a groundbreaking technology that changed things, think of George de Mestral and his hunting trip in Switzerland.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Rob T.'s Comment
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There could conceivably be a completely separate set of roadways built out specifically for such vehicles

With what money? I can't see the general public supporting politicians that push for higher taxes to accommodate this. If they tax those using self driving equipment to maintain that road it'll decrease those that can afford it. Have you seen how terrible many interstates are currently? How would they have the space available to add extra lanes into metro areas? Traffic is already a mess in many densely populated areas that taking away an existing lane isnt the answer either. Self driving vehicles are going to cost quite a bit more than a normal truck. If they still need a driver in the vehicle they'll have trouble finding anyone if they also cut their pay so where's the incentive?

As mentioned before it's those outside, or just entering the industry that buy into this hype of self driving trucks. If you're legitimately concerned about it find a niche in the industry that can't be automated. This industry will never be 100% self driving trucks.

Interstate:

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

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
G-Town's Comment
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Rob T wrote:

As mentioned before it's those outside, or just entering the industry that buy into this hype of self driving trucks. If you're legitimately concerned about it find a niche in the industry that can't be automated. This industry will never be 100% self driving trucks.

Totally agree with the above.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Matthew P.'s Comment
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Hey guys. I am dipping out of this one.

Didn't mean for it to be a "YOUR ALL GOING TO BE UNEMPLOYED" thread. I had no intention of provoking anyone.

Best to you all.

Matthew, what year do you have in mind as that in which self driving trucks will start to displace OTR drivers?

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Interesting. I 'd like to make a friendly bet on it.

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Automated Trucks. It is coming. Sorry if that goes against"conventional wisdom. Tech is already out there and improving.

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I'm sorry, but you've been snowed by the tech evangelists. Old School is right. Autonomous trucking is making billions of dollars for startup companies as the big corporations buy anything these fools put out. Why? They're afraid of being left behind. Self-driving tech isn't within 25 years of making an impact on this industry. At this point, it's a marketing gimmick. If we were serious about self-driving vehicles we would be installing the infrastructure needed to support it. No one is even seriously discussing such an investment, let alone building anything.

I wrote this article nearly five years ago, and every word holds true today:

Self Driving Trucks Are Not Coming Anytime Soon

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OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

PackRat's Comment
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No, we are all going to be proven correct.

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