The driverless truck is coming, and itâ€™s going to automate millions of jobs.
Jared Sperli stashed this in drones
The effects on consumer prices will be good, but the consequence will be losing many jobs:
Shipping a full truckload from L.A. to New York costs around $4,500 today, with labor representing 75 percent of that cost. But those labor savings arenâ€™t the only gains to be had from the adoption ofÂ driverlessÂ trucks.
Where drivers are restricted by law from driving more than 11 hours per day without taking an 8-hour break, aÂ driverlessÂ truckÂ can drive nearly 24 hours per day. That means the technology would effectively double the output of the U.S. transportation network at 25 percent of the cost.
And the savings become even more significant when you account for fuel efficiency gains. The optimal cruising speed from a fuel efficiency standpoint is around 45 miles per hour, whereas truckers who are paid by the mileÂ drive much faster. Further fuel efficiencies will be had as the self-driving fleets adopt platooning technologies, like those fromÂ Peloton Technology, allowing trucks to draft behind one another in highway trains.
Trucking represents a considerable portion of the cost of all the goods we buy, so consumers everywhere will experience this change as lower prices and higher standards of living.
In addition, once the technology is mature enough to be rolled out commercially, we will also enjoy considerable safety benefits. This year alone more people will be killed in traffic accidents involving trucks than in all domestic airline crashes in the last 45 years combined. At the same time, moreÂ truckÂ drivers were killed on the job, 835, than workers in any other occupation in the U.S.
Even putting aside the direct safety risks,Â truckÂ driving is a grueling job that young people donâ€™t really want to do. The average age of a commercial driver is 55 (and rising every year), with projected driver shortages that will create yet more incentive to adoptÂ driverlessÂ technology in the years to come.
While the efficiency gains are real â€” too real to pass up â€” the technology will have tremendous adverse effects as well. There are currently more than 1.6 million Americans working asÂ truckdrivers, making it the most common job in 29 states.
The loss ofÂ jobsÂ representing 1 percent of the U.S. workforce will be a devastating blow to the economy. And the adverse consequences wonâ€™t end there. Gas stations, highway diners, rest stops, motels and other businesses catering to drivers will struggle to survive without them.
Video of truck convoy drafting:Â http://m.pandawhale.com/post/71409/self-driving-truck-convoy-completes-its-first-major-journey-across-europe
Fascinating to watch trucks platooning.Â
Former employees of Google, Apple, Tesla, Cruise Automation, and others â€” 40 people in total â€” have formed a new San Francisco-based company called Otto with the goal of turning commercial trucks into self-driving freight haulers.
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