Self driving trucks are coming
Self driving vehicles are inching closer to reality. As the new technology becomes more and more sustainable, the possible economic impact of a new business model is also moving forward. While the new technology is a boon for long distance drivers, it may also eliminate thousands of jobs in the long run. Unsurprisingly, Uber seems to be the latest company at the center of the transformation after purchasing Otto, a self driving technology startup last year.
For an overview of Uber’s plans within the self driving market, let’s take a look at the Tech Republic article and highlight a few parts:
- What it is: Otto is a self-driving truck company that was acquired by Uber in August 2016 for $680 million.
- Why it matters: Driverless trucks are poised to have a major impact on businesses and society, and many predict that the trucking industry may be the first big area to feel the consequences of the technology.
- Who it affects: There are about 3.5 million US truck drivers, although the US trucking industry employs nearly 9 million people. Driverless trucks will likely have a big impact on these jobs.
The key for all points is the major impact coming. Transportation businesses may need to research these changes further as the new technology may cut costs, increase profits, but eliminated millions of jobs along the way.
There have been some bumps along the road for Uber with state regulators in Nevada and California pushing back on some of its testing. Regardless, “Otto is still developing the technology for driverless trucks, but it achieved its first success in the fall of 2016 with a commercial beer run, shipping a load of 50,000 Budweisers 120 miles across Colorado. The driver simply pressed “engage” when on the highway, and the truck operated at level 4 autonomy during the trek from Fort Collins to Colorado Springs.” In addition, technology is only ramping up as Otto has gained more competition with Embark, Starsky Robotics and Drive.ai.
If you are in the trucking industry or thinking about buying your own trucks for business pay close attention to the self-driving truck market.