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It is the year 2017 and there are still no flying cars, teleporters, colonies on Mars, or time travel. However, technology has made big strides in recent years. One of those strides took place in the trucking industry just last year. Even though it does not look like there will be flying trucks any time soon, self-driving technology is already here and its influence will play a huge part in the trucking industry for many years.
On October 20, 2016, Anheuser-Busch and Otto, a division of Uber, accomplished something never done before. The partnership completed the world’s first truck shipment made by a self-driving semi-tractor trailer. The truck traveled 120 miles along Interstate 25 from Fort Collins to Colorado Springs carrying 51,744 cans of Budweiser. A professional driver stayed in the truck to make sure nothing went wrong. Other than that, the truck drove itself. Otto equipped a Volvo semi-trailer truck with a system of cameras, radar and laser sensors that controlled its acceleration, braking, and steering.
What does this mean for the industry? This technology will not completely replace professional drivers because there still needs to be someone in the truck just in case something goes wrong. However, this technology will allow drivers to rest during long trips without having to stop somewhere, which reduces the time that a shipment spends on the road. Companies will receive their shipments faster, saving them money, and truckers will waste less time on the road, which they can spend with their families or make more trips and earn more money.
How this technology will affect the industry is yet to be seen. However, it is clear that it will influence the trucking industry for years to come. If you have any questions about the trucking industry, please contact us.
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