Why Truckers Are Ready For Self-Driving Trucks
The maiden voyage of the first self-driving commercial truck was a beer run. Budweiser, to be exact. Yes, this is basically the plot of Smokey and the Bandit, with an algorithm instead of Burt Reynolds.
You might expect truck drivers to react the way taxi drivers did when Uber crashed their party: Pretty pissed. But big rig drivers can keep their seats for the foreseeable future.
Hiring veterans, paying drivers more, and fixing the supply chain are also offered as potential solutions. Ghost riders are the most far-out option of these. But the appeal of new technologies could draw young blood to the industry, something it needs a serious infusion of.
“We welcome it,” Greg Fulton, president of the Colorado Motor Carriers Association said. “I think the big concern we have is that we don’t get lost on the whole thing.” That the safety autonomously-assisted driving brings to long hauls isn’t lost in the fear of human obsolescence. Fulton said that after our conversation, he was headed to an Anheuser-Busch send-off party, complete with the famous Clydesdale. “We’re gonna ask for the driverless horse to pull some beer along and see what they can do on that part, too.”