Cars with self-driving features are already on our roads. An estimated 10 million self-driving vehicles are expected to be in use by 2020.
But surprising to many, self-driving trucks are also in our future.
Uber began testing driverless technology in delivery trucks in early 2017. The self-driving trucks have been delivering freight in Arizona since November.
Are they completely driverless? Not yet. Currently, a trucker is in the vehicle – but the trucker doesn’t actually drive. He or she simply monitors to make sure everything is working correctly – and to step in, if necessary.
But in the future, we may be sharing the road with driverless trucks.
What technologies are expected to develop?
One possibility is having driverless trucks making long-haul highway legs – driving long stretches of highway – without a human driver. At some point, the truck would meet up with a human driver who would continue making the delivery into city centers or urban areas. These areas are more difficult for driverless vehicles to navigate.
Another possibility is having the truck go driverless during long hauls, while the driver rests or sleeps.
Trucks that are completely self-driving – with no human driver inside – are not yet a reality. But considering the testing being done and technological advancements being made, it may not be much longer.
Driverless technology will revolutionize the trucking industry. But obvious concerns about safety and liability are on the minds of concerned citizens and lawmakers.
Do you think driverless trucks are in the future? What do you think of the technology? Share your thoughts in the comments, below.