A lot of people are concerned that self-driving (autonomous) vehicles will mean that there will no longer be a need for truck drivers. But that is simply not the case and is far from the truth.
Autonomous Safety Capabilities
While there is talk that self-driving trucks will be on the road by 2020, the term “self-driving” is a bit misleading. This doesn’t mean trucks will drive down the road with no one in the driver seat. However, both trucks and cars are more likely to have increasingly more autonomous functions in the future.
Automated safety features will aim to relieve the driver’s stress level. Satefy features may sense traffic patterns, automatically apply the brakes, or monitor conditions to determine a safe driving speed. These functions will help the driver be as safe as possible. Truck drivers will still be needed to monitor or take over if traffic patterns change suddenly or become highly complicated. Drivers will still need to know how to drive and maneuver the truck during dangerous road conditions, during city driving, backing into the dock for deliveries, and more.
New Rules and Regulations, Costly Innovations
Fully autonomous trucks will be expensive to purchase and operate. And the use of these autonomous trucks will require a whole new approach to safety in the transportation industry. Federal, state, and local regulations, plus new rules and laws, will have to be put into place.
Human Drivers – and CDLs – Are Still Needed
Eventually, autonomous trucks will make a drivers job easier. But for now – and in the foreseeable future – truck drivers will still need a commercial drivers license. Getting your CDL from a respected school like United States Truck Driving School will be important… even if self-driving trucks are the majority on the road.