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Impact Of Driverless Trucks On Logistics

Impact Of Driverless Trucks On Logistics

Impact Of Driverless Trucks On Logistics- The concept of self-driving trucks has evolved from a dream to a real concept in no time. Also, some researchers say that fully autonomous fleets will be introduced within this decade. Still, implementing this technology requires a lot of experiments until it is refined further.

There are many incentives for driverless trucks like a more autonomous supply chain, decreasing the overall environmental impact and cost-cutting by up to 40 %. Companies like Volvo have already leaped and introduced self-driving fleets.

Impact Of Driverless Trucks:

There are many challenges as well as advantages associated with this technology.

Benefits:

There are quite a few apparent benefits of autonomous trucks. They will streamline delivery lead times and reduce operational costs to a great degree. The technology also will enable companies to work their latent capacity and reduce off-hours.

Machines don’t need breaks like overnight stops or mealtimes. So the current truck usage, which is 29%, will be increased to 79% with the help of autonomous technology.

Another significant advantage is that autonomous technology will help resolve the mounting personnel issue. Qualified drivers are in short supply during the pandemic.

The environmental aspect of driverless trucks is also huge. We will be able to reduce fuel consumption and minimize air drag.   

Impacts On The Logistics Industry:

There are three significant ways in which driverless truck technology will affect the logistics processes.

  • Changing Paradigms Of Liability And Safety: 

The current liability regulation is built on the fact that vehicles are driven by drivers. They are held responsible in case of any accidents. This will no longer be the case for self-driving trucks.  

The liability issue will be crucial for the future of autonomy as both the regulators and customers need assurance on who is responsible for any damages so that legislation will be a big challenge.

Who will be accountable in case of accidents? Will the manufacturer, the software powering the vehicle, or the supervisor monitoring the truck be responsible?

Studies suggest that autonomous technologies are safer and will help save precious lives. But they fall short in some aspects, like when a truck gets a flat tire. A driver will change the tire, whereas an autonomous vehicle will have to wait to be assisted by a human.

  • Improving (Human) Working Conditions:

You can’t deny the fact that truck drivers lead a tough life. They work long hours and stay away from friends and family. The industry is dependent on them for doing the heavy lifting.

Autonomous technology will be able to solve these problems. For instance, they can reduce their workload by assigning night shifts to driverless trucks. This will help improve their working conditions as well.

The whole point of creating such technology is to complement the efforts of drivers and ultimately reduce their burden. A balance can be achieved when we delegate mundane, repetitive tasks to autonomous vehicles and leave creative jobs for humans.  

So, self-driving technology will shoulder the burdens of long-distance trucking and enhance the working conditions for drivers.  

  • Making Logistics Greener:

The future for the trucking industry has to be green. So, to reduce the environmental footprint, the industry needs to depend on solutions like optimization through IoT technology. In this scenario, self-driving technology will play an essential role in making logistics greener.

A study reveals that autonomous systems optimize performance and take us closer to environmental targets. They will reduce fuel consumption by 40%.

Conclusion:

Driverless trucks will no doubt be a game-changer for the logistics industry. The question, however, is to make the most of this technology. Companies can achieve the maximum benefits by partnering with the right experts in technology and transportation.

Also, read Benefits Of Hiring Entry-Level Truck Drivers.