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Self-Driving Trucks in the Shipping Industry


Stephen Roome

Whether its coming from Google, Apple, Uber or others, self-driving vehicles are going to be a major game changer in the next few years. These autonomous vehicles are sure to interject themselves into many industries, but one that is bound to be hit the hardest is the shipping and transport industry. Every day truckers log thousands of hours driving across the country transporting goods from warehouse to warehouse, but what if drivers werent needed?

If these shipment trucks could get from point A to point B without the need for drivers, how would this affect the industry? One of the biggest changes to come would of course be the hit to workforce. Currently there are over 3 million truck drivers in the USA alone, so this would be quite devastating to the job market. The pros of autonomous trucks would come in shipment companies savings as the need for skilled truck drivers would be diminished, the roads would be safer, as so far self-driving vehicles have safer driving records than manned vehicles, and it would also allow shipment managers to better manage their shipment scheduling, as you dont have to worry about taking into account the sleeping / eating needs of the drivers.

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Shipment managers are perhaps some of the most excited for this new technology to become mainstream. Currently, there are apps and software platforms that provide freight tracking solutions that give real-time information and updates on shipments for transport carriers and brokers, but in the future these apps may be even more versatile. They could integrate full shipment automation that would allow the managers to set start times for shipments and have the ability to plan routes well in advance all from their office without having to spend the additional time in coordinating with drivers.

The technology needed to allow completely autonomous shipping trucks is still quite a bit down the line, but it is something that those in the shipment industry need to keep on their radar. Tech companies are racing to be the first to unveil completely self-driving vehicles, when will their goal be reached? Its too early to say with certainty, but it is probably closer than you may think.

There are plenty of bleeding edge tech companies that have been exploring the realm of self-driving cars for the past few years, with quite a high success rate. Google, Apple, Tesla and more are working on their own version of self-driving technology that they are hoping to introduce to the public in the near future. Tesla is already bringing out a line of electric-powered freight trucks that will be hitting the market soon how much longer until they release the same truck with semi-automated driving, and then the next step will be completely self-driving. The autonomous freight fleet really is coming down the line in a hurry.

This is something that the freight industry is preparing for, and hopefully it wont come as too big of a shock. One of the biggest upsides of the self-driving freight fleet will be its ability to integrate into freight management technology solutions. Freight management apps will have to be updated to allow shipment routes to be able to be planed right from their interface, providing an even better user experience.

Freight Management Technology

from CX North America.

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