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Transformers On The Road

Unless you have been living under a rock or on Dalton Highway in Alaska you know that Freightliner released a self-driving truck this month.

This is just the latest blip on the radar when it comes to technology and trucks meeting. Don’t know what we are talking about? Here is a taste –

“Wrightspeed’s system is designed to replace the original diesel combustion engine and transmission with a combination of batteries, electric motors, and advanced software, all designed to work together as a system to maximize performance, reliability, and power efficiency.” http://djobs.us/0mD

“In the trucking industry, telematics systems can send real-time data to fleet managers, allowing them to track driver locations and behavior, monitor trucks for maintenance needs and streamline operations to save money and frustration.” http://djobs.us/9e2

“According to Morgan Stanley, complete autonomous capability will be here by 2022, followed by massive market penetration by 2026 and the cars we know and love today then entirely extinct in another 20 years thereafter.” http://djobs.us/xe0

Optimus Prime?

Robot Transformer isolated on white background. 3d rendered

Will this be your truck?

The American economy rests on the back of the trucking industry. From everything to gas stations, hotels, to the product resting on the shelf at your local food store. With all of America relying on trucking, the industry is thriving, but is there a looming cliff for drivers?

There is currently a shortfall of drivers but that is expected to grow to over “100,000 with an increase of 21% more truck driving jobs by 2020”. http://djobs.us/xe0 So to leave nothing to chance the self driving truck was born, and they are looking to takeover. There a lot of estimates on when but when they are all put together “we’re looking at a window of massive disruption starting somewhere between 2020 and 2030. http://djobs.us/xe0

If you are thinking the autonomous truck will take the same path as the flying car and never come to fruition; you could not be further from the truth. In the heavy equipment industry the self-driving trucks are already here, and being used in mines all across the world. Currently Caterpillar, Komatsu, and Hitachi are leading the charge.

With Komatsu the idea has been around since the 1970s, and they had their first major trial in 1995. Most of the major players also had their major trials start in the late 90’s and they have been tweaking since then. Now that this technology has moved a lot of tonnage over the years we are seeing the adoption of this technology take off. “Autonomous truck haulage can generate production and productivity improvements of 15%–20%, while cutting fuel consumption by 10%–15%. Tire wear rates can also be 5%–15% lower, while overall utilization of the vehicles can be 10%–20% higher. And, with better driving practice, maintenance costs can also fall, maybe by around 8%.” http://djobs.us/Aah

With all of this information drivers are looking at a lot of changes in the next ten year which might include R2-D2 in the passenger seat. The best advice for drivers is to learn to work with the changes, because companies will be looking to hire people with open minds.

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