Autonomous driving technology is readying to take over as many of the world’s largest car makers look to incorporate self-driving vehicles into their lineups in the next few years. Given the financial and safety benefits that are expected to come from these types of motor vehicles, it should come as no surprise that the trucking industry is also interested in adopting autonomous driving features too. That is why some manufacturers are preparing to invest in self-driving trucks as well as cars. In fact, according to Trucks.com, it is anticipated by 2035, 60,000 new trucks with driverless technology could be on the road in Georgia and throughout the country.
Self-driving technology could especially be a boon for trucking in particular, an industry that finds itself on hard times. These new trucks could translate into savings when it comes to fuel costs and labor expenses. In addition, according to the Wall Street Journal, many companies are currently facing driver shortages and government regulations limit the number of hours that the drivers they do have can be on the road. In 2015, it was estimated that the industry was short approximately 50,000 drivers.
Therefore, many companies will likely not be able to afford to replace their entire fleet with autonomous-driving trucks once they are available. That is why one entrepreneur is working to develop a product that will retrofit today’s trucks with self-driving technology.
By focusing his efforts on highway driving, he hopes to avoid some of the pitfalls that driverless cars have run into when navigating city streets. Self-driving trucks would take human factors such as fatigue and substance abuse by drivers out of the equation, which would hopefully mean that everyone on the highway would be safer. Once self-driving trucks do hit the nation’s highways, it will remain to be seen whether new government regulations for the industry will be adopted.