We are living in a time where technology is taking leaps, and bounds forward, propelling us into a future of pure wonder and amazement. We see these advancements with laser surgeries taking place in hospitals; with Elon Musk’s cosmic adventures, propelling satellites into space accompanied by his car; we can see this in the very device sitting in most people’s pockets, our cellphones. We have seen our amazing improvement regarding the shipping industry with the rise in automated trucks.
When Did They Start?
As long as we have had automobiles, people have been trying to make them autonomous, but it is not until recently that these goals have come to fruition. Uber introduced their first self-driving truck in 2016 after its acquisition of Otto, an autonomous trucking start-up founded by a former Google engineer. As of 2017 there have been automated trucks transporting good between Texas and California.
Bear in mind these are not unmanned trucks, as they still have accompanying truckers with them; but someday most, if not all transportation companies hope to have entirely independent vehicles at their disposal.
Where Are They Headed?
Well, it is quite apparent where companies want to see these trucks go, complete independence. Driverless vehicles would help reduce the cost of transportation in general, not having to pay for drivers. It will also help expedite the transport itself, trucks being able to drive through the night with no breaks needed.
This opens up other issues though, as for how will the truck be able to unload the goods? Or how will it know when it needs gas? Or how will it react to an accident or automotive issues? These occurrences are one of the defining reasons why even with the rise of automated trucks, there will still be a place of hands-on human partners. Uber says they will still utilize people to work with these trucks.
Judging from the current evolutionary rate of these vehicles, it is only a matter of time before the idea of entirely independent vehicles goes from science fiction to science fact.