Autonomous Trucking in our Future

An interesting article by William Cassidy of the Journal of Commerce really struck my attention.  Automated trucks and a hands free experience for the driver?  How does that work?

close up of truck wheel and tirebprint on asphalt

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Chris Spear, the president and CEO of the American Trucking Associations mentions,

“Autonomous vehicle technology is real, folks, and it’s here whether we like it or not.” Cassidy writes about Spear’s recent experience in South Korea, where he rode in a complete autonomous Tucson which “took us down the road, navigating all incoming and crossing traffic, yielding as required, then turned around and brought us back safely to the Namyang R&D center, not a hand on the wheel, not a foot on the pedals,” Spear said.

Cassidy goes on to write,

“The Department of Transportation last month released an autonomous vehicle policy with federal guidelines for regulating driverless vehicles. The Federal Communications Commission is considering whether to allow Wi-Fi providers access to radio frequency spectrum now reserved for transportation uses, such as vehicle-to-vehicle communications. If the spectrum instead is reserved for transportation, it will “accelerate autonomous technology over the next five years, making current concepts, such as platooning, possible,” Spear said.”

Moreover, the American Trucking Associations released its latest edition of its look into the future of freight transportation, U.S. Freight Transportation Forecast to 2027.  The report shows growth in both overall freight volumes and in the number of goods moved by truck.  Read the full report here.


Specific to trucking, volumes are estimated to continue to grow:

   Between 2016 – 2022     2022 or 2023 – 2027
   FTL volumes    will grow 2% per year     will grow 1.6% per year
   LTL volumes    will grow 3% per year    will grow 2.8% per year
Private Carrier volumes    will grow 2.3% per year    will grow 2.1% per year



Did you know Uber was already doing this?



Uber rolled out its self-driving vehicles to the public in September and is still testing them.

Singapore was the first country to release a self-driving taxi service in August.  Read full article here.

Photo by Steve Mellon with Post-Gazette.