Will autonomous trucks cost CDL holders their jobs?
Robots are taking over the world. Well, that’s what some people might be thinking is in our future, but what about truck drivers? Is autonomous driving technology going to cost many of today’s CDL holders their jobs? Well, let’s take a look at some of the facts. Yes, someday you’re going to see driverless semis zipping down the highway, but the real question is how soon?
Let’s first look at some facts. It’s going to be a while until that happens and given the fact that the majority of truckers right now are in their mid fifties before this even takes a hold on a large scale, most of that current driver population will have already aged themselves out from behind the steering wheel.
Let’s look at some other issues. The technology has a while till it will be ready for large scale deployment. All the current news buzz you hear about autonomous trucks now out on the open road are done under extreme controlled conditions.
These things are not out there just roaming I80 alone at this point and won’t be anytime soon. Next is the laws have to change. Right now, if a trucker kills somebody in an accident, the victim’s family is going to sue the trucker and the trucking company. But what happens if there’s no driver that kills? Does the technology kill someone? Does the tech company get sued? While there’s a lot of unanswered legal questions around autonomous trucking, that needs to be answered first.
Lastly, even at large scale adoption, there’s that last mile problem that’ll need to be solved. While autonomous fleets might bring cargo to distribution centers, good old red blooded human truckers are going to take it the final mile in many cases.
So there you have it. Yes, we’re all going to be living like George Jetson someday and for those who drive a truck, that might be a concern, but not anytime soon.