More Semi Drivers Being Replaced in Texas Thanks to One Company
For years we've heard that driverless vehicles were "on the horizon." As excited as I am to make the drive to my mom's house in McKinney, Texas while I take a nap - I'm not ignorant of the massive implications a driver-less society would bring.
Who's responsible in an accident? What happens if the technology "glitches" while my family and I are travelling at highway speeds? Who would you blame if you ran out of gas? The endless stream of questions without answers makes me think that maybe we're not ready for it. Well, ready or not, here it comes!
According to the details reported by Tech Crunch, autonomous truck maker Aurora is expanding its operation to include a 600-mile route between Fort Worth and El Paso, Texas to deliver packages for shipping giant Fed Ex. The company claims the vehicles drive day and night through all kinds of weather situations with no issue whatsoever. So far, the robotic trucks have reportedly logged more than 60,000 miles with zero safety incidents.
In fact, Aurora's trucks have already proven their worth with a shorter route they've been running every single night since September of last year. The daily, 240-mile "beta test" of these 18-wheelers has produced some very impressive results. On another of the company's delivery runs between Dallas and Houston, they have reportedly knocked it out of the park by delivering those loads 100% of the time.
Unfortunately, this isn't great news for professional truck drivers. Currently, these systems need a human backup driver in case something goes wrong. As the technology progresses, not only will a real person in the cockpit become unnecessary - the vehicles themselves may start to phase out a driver's seat altogether. In my opinion - It's a safe bet that the longer our 18-wheeler-driver shortage and the shipping crisis continues, the more big companies will love the idea of a robotic shipping fleet.