There has been a lot of buzz in the media recently about self-driving or autonomous vehicles. There’s also been a lot of talk about this technology permeating the trucking industry. In this issue of Spotlight News, we take a look at what’s down the road for autonomous vehicles and how these advancements may effect you, your business and the industry as a whole.
The dream of autonomous vehicles goes back almost to the invention of the automobile. As far back as the 1920’s manufacturers have experimented with various methods of self-driving cars. World War Two spawned the development of guidance systems for bombs and missiles. After the war much of this technology made its way into automotive manufacturing, including today’s radar assisted self-braking and lane departure systems that can take over from the driver when certain parameters sense danger. Although not fully autonomous, these systems can wrest control from the driver under some circumstances.
It wasn’t until the advent of the GPS (global positioning system) in the early seventies that autonomous vehicle technology was beginning to move out of the realm of science fiction. Fast forward to 2017 and the advancement of digital technologies and the internet brought all of the pieces together to make self-driving vehicles (and trucks) feasible, and a soon-to-be reality.
Where We Are Today
According to the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI), self-driving trucks will dramatically change the trucking industry and have dramatic consequences for the entire supply chain. They site a number of advantages to autonomous vehicles, including significant safety benefits. But before any of this technology reaches the road, there are a number of hurdles that must be overcome, including: significant infrastructure upgrades, legal and regulatory frameworks put into place, and cyber security checks — to name a few.
Needless to say, self-driving trucks won’t be on the road in the very near future, but as technology advances, they will begin to be used in some applications as systems, infrastructure and government regulations advance.
Where does Expediter Services Stand? With YOU!
Throughout the history of Expediting, there has always been technological advances resulting in better communications, increased safety and enhanced maintenance monitoring and procedures. According to Jason Williams, President of Expediter Services, no matter how advanced technology becomes, only You can drive your business. “Expediting and trucking in general has always adapted to change. Can technology someday operate a truck? Maybe. Can it operate your business? Never! No matter how technologically advanced the industry becomes, Expediter Services is here to support YOU and your business. Only you drive your business and ES is here so you Never Stand Alone.”
One thing is for sure, no matter how much technology advances, ES is here with support and programs to help provide opportunities that work for YOU! Here’s to your future!