The automotive industry has already stepped one foot in the door of autonomous technology. Early prototypes of driverless cars are already on the road and making small trips. The move to driverless freight trucks, in the meantime, is making less headway. Nevertheless vehicle manufacturing companies are doing extensive development work. In the near future, the common carrier or line haul shipper you hire to transport your cargo may not have a human driver.
The Implications of Driverless Freight Trucks
What does autonomous technology entail for the industry as a whole? For you, the customer, you could very well see a drastic reduction in cost. A dedicated truck transport with a full freight compartment, traveling from Los Angeles to New York, for example, costs roughly $4,500. Labor makes up 75% of that cost. A reduction in overhead will surly transfer over to the end consumers.
In addition, a driverless truck can also operate nearly 24 hours a day, compared to human drivers who are prohibited from driving more than 11 hours in a 24-hour period. Aside from increased productivity, this will also reduce truck-related accidents and fatalities.
Early Prototypes on the Road
Early semi-autonomous trucks are already on the road. Daimler Trucks of North America unveiled a freightliner truck that was licensed for operation on public U.S. highways. The truck is still operated by a human driver, though several functions, such as maintaining legal speed, keeping a safe distance from other vehicles, and staying within its lane are all handled by autonomous technology. The driver is still responsible for maneuvers like exiting a freeway and docking the vehicle.
Freight Brokers Are Still Composed of Human Staff
Contact Machine Transport to schedule your next freight delivery. We will continue to connect you with the best line haul and LTL shipping providers, regardless of how the advancement of driverless freight trucks reshape the industry.
Edited by Justin Vorhees
Freight Brokers serving North American Supply Chains
Serving Manufacturing Industries Throughout North America