Around the United States, there is currently a shortage of over a million truck drivers. The solution some tech companies have proposed is an automated electric truck. The truck would drive itself from one destination to another. They claim that it will not replace truck drivers but will actually enhance their workday. FTL Hub is a tech-savvy, full truckload, nationwide provider so we understand the differences good tech can make. We believe in tech so much, we built our own system; TruckHub. Having an Uber-like operating system sets us and our drivers apart from other trucking companies. Tech, when used correctly, makes the transport of assets an easier and quicker process.
The Difference on Our Drivers
The trucker shortage has been linked back to regulations set in place so truckers can stay safe on our roads. There are currently some apps and tech like SmartCap, that help to keep track of drivers vitals and alert them of potentially dangerous conditions. Nationwide delivery means that drivers can go from driving a set route to having a new and spontaneous route. By using an automated truck on those set and specific routes, you can then assign the new and unpredictable routes to your drivers. Having a fully autonomous truck is still in the works by Tesla, Embark, TuSimple, and others. Although it may take some time before trucking regulations and technology catches up to innovation, there are still ways that this autonomous technology can help drivers. The first step after the trucks have been fully developed is to have driver assisted routes. This means the truck driver would still be in the cabin but would not need to have their foot on the gas pedal the entire 10 or more hours they are driving each day. If regulations permit, they would need less rest time meaning faster delivery times.
Tech and Trucks
Technology has been creeping into trucks for some time now and a fully autonomous vehicle was an inevitable innovation. Some other automated systems that have been announced; and implemented in some cases; are automatic lane centering, blind-spot alerts, automatic emergency braking, and predictive cruise control. These features are already standard practice in many cars and implementing them into trucks was only the next logical step. These features do make the drive safer for both truckers and those around them. Tesla hinted on a quarterly earnings call last week that the production of the Tesla Semi will begin next year. They had begun taking orders for the Tesla Semi back at the end of 2017 and had originally stated that production would begin in 2019. Although, this new development timeline can seem like a setback, developing a fully autonomous truck takes time and details. The future of trucking isn’t too far away, especially with the advancements TuSimple has already made. They are further along in the development process and have already begun testing their trucks on the open road. In March, they equipped their trucks with more cameras and are able to run a truck for 12 hours per day. We believe in the future of automation and Tesla so much, we have already ordered two of the new trucks.