“If you bought it, a truck brought it.”
Trucks deliver about 70%of the nation’s goods. Truck drivers encapsulate the American spirit.
There’s a significant shortage of truckers in this country, though, and with most large retailers promising quick shipping, firms are turning to solutions like autonomous trucks. Several firms are testing driverless semi-trucks, and even the US Postal Service is getting in on the game.
The Benefits Of Autonomous Trucks
- Quick and Easy Hiring
Probably the most obvious benefit to a self-driving truck is that with such an extreme shortage of drivers in the trucking industry, routes can be filled faster and easier.
- The never-tiring machine.
Laws protect drivers from getting too tired, stating that they can only be on the road for eleven hours before stopping to rest for ten hours. Drivers are also currently limited to driving 70 hours a week, or about 3200 miles. Do the math, and you’ll see the average truck spends just 40% of its time carrying goods. With an autonomous vehicle, you remove the concern of driver fatigue. So, a load that might take a human long-haul driver five days to deliver, could be completed in just two days by fully autonomous trucks.
- Engineers working on the technology say autonomous trucks can save companies money in the form of better gas mileage and maintenance. Tests have shown that in most cases, computers drive trucks more consistently and efficiently than humans.
- At least one report suggests autonomous trucks will save more than money. In 2012, there were 330 crashes of large trucks in the US. 90% were attributed to human error. Designers believe that using technology like adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning systems, we’ll see a 90% reduction in truck-related accidents by the year 2040.
What Will Self-Driving Trucks Mean For Jobs?
Believe it or not, this may be a good thing for the industry — even for the drivers. The designers who work on the technology and software believe that rather than killing trucking jobs, they’re solving the shortage, which strengthens the industry and creates more of a need for local drivers. There’s a lot of industry talk about having autonomous vehicles do the over-the-road driving from one hub to another, with local drivers handling the other stuff on each side. That’s also the type of work that gets the drivers we hire most excited.
The autonomous driving technology also offers new opportunities for new careers, such as people interested in helping develop more technology or those controlling and monitoring the vehicles. While the driverless vehicles are being tested, the trucks are not entirely empty. There is always at least one person in the cab who can take over in case of an emergency. Autonomous technology means new jobs for those in the tech field who want to help make driverless vehicles commonplace.
Freight trucking is key to logistics, but it’s also one of the most expensive parts of the supply chain. And, trucking has an overwhelming influence on the success of a business’ supply chain function.
At Spectra360, we know logistics. We also know talented people. We’re one of the fastest-growing talent management agencies for drivers and light industrial. We like to brag that while we didn’t invent the recruiting model, we do make it better by ensuring the right fit every time for our talent and our clients. Whether you’re looking to hire or looking for a job, we’ve got you covered.
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