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Driverless Trucks are Taking Over?

By: Jessie Sha

In March, a self-driving eighteen-wheeler truck spent many days on the road, driving goods from Dallas to Atlanta. This truck drove more than 6,300 miles, traveling around 120 hours. This is a crazy car, but this was just for an experiment.

This car was made when Kodiak Robotics, a self-driving start-up, partnered with U.S. Xpress. They decided to start a five day drive to show the potential of a self-driving car.

Normally with a person driving, it would take ten days to get all the goods from state to state, as the driver must stop in between. However, the self-driving car can make the same trip in about three days, as it does not have to stop and take breaks. As this technology is advancing, scientists say that it is still not safe enough to drive itself. People had to drive it once or twice during this whole trip, making it not completely safe.

People at Carnegie Mellon University, and University of Michigan did a study about how truck drivers are paid. Many are paid by the mile, so if companies were to use a self-driving truck, this would knock out most traditional truck drivers. “There are many drivers like me,” said Cannon Bryan, a 28-year-old long-haul trucker from Texas. “I wasn’t born in the city. I wasn’t raised in the city. I hate city driving. I enjoy picking up a load in Dallas and driving to Grand Rapids, Mich.” This shows that many people don’t like just driving through the city, and while using a self-driving car is great, many people will lose jobs. “But the drive also showed that the technology is not yet ready to realize its potential.” This part of the article shows that even the people who work there think that it is not yet ready to use.

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