With all of the high-tech advancements like computers, robots, and other automated inventions – it’s like a new one pops up every day – it can seem like they’re taking over the world. What used to be done by a human is now done by a machine. Will the truck driving industry be affected in the same manner by self-driving trucks? Are they here to take away the job of the short and long-haul trucker?
Robo Revolution – It’s Not The Latest Science Fiction Movie
In the world of trucks driven by humans, compared to passenger vehicles, semis are far more highly and strictly regulated. Those regulations will be even higher and more stringently enforced for self-driving trucks. More so than self-driving cars, self-driving trucks will face more government oversight and scrutiny.
There are currently, companies that are running test after test on self-driving trucks. They are running them for very short distances and in all types of road conditions and weather. Before automated trucks will be involved in a widespread rollout, the federal government is going to need all sorts of proof that they are fit. That proof will be the result of research that will still take years.
Driver-Less and Self-Driving Don’t Equate in This Situation
Today’s trucks that have been classified as self-driving are not completely autonomous. At a consistent speed, they can stay in their own lanes, yes. But to navigate busy urban streets and get off and on the highway, a driver will still be needed.
Rather than taking away a truck driver’s job, these trucks will reportedly take the current state of life on the road and improve its quality. Compare it to airplanes, pilots, and autopilot features. The pilot was not replaced. No, far from it. But autopilot did make life in the cockpit a tad easier.
Even the first protocol of a semi that is fully automated is years and years away from coming to its fruition. And for it to be commercially available – even longer.
The High Demand for Truckers
To meet the increasing needs of shipping, in excess of 50,000 more drivers are needed. That is in addition to the 3.5 million drivers that are currently working in the United States. These figures come to us courtesy of estimates done by the American Trucking Association.
To service their existing customers, new drivers must be attracted by companies before any automated trucks can begin serious shipping duties. So much so, in fact, that sign-on bonuses are being offered by numerous trucking companies in hopes of recruiting new drivers. If tomorrow, the automated trucks being tested rolled out en masse, there would still be many seats to fill. That’s because behind every wheel, you would still need a driver.
With our finger on the pulse of the trucking and transport industry, Mickey Genuine Parts stocks parts for today’s trucks, trailers, and more. Throughout the United States we have Mickey certified service centers to keep your truck and trailer in safe, efficient working order. If you’d rather do the work yourself, most Mickey parts can ship the same day as your order, provided we receive your order by 2 PM Eastern Standard Time. Parts not in stock usually ship within three days. If you would like to speak to a Mickey consultant, contact us today.