There’s a Lot of Talk About Self-Driving Trucks, But the Truth About Them May Surprise You…
If you’re in the trucking industry, you’ve probably heard talk about autonomous big rigs on the road.
And it’s something to be aware of—as self-driving technology and artificial intelligence generally gets better, workers in a variety of industries are worried their jobs will be taken by computers.
But don’t let that scare you away from trucking, especially if you’re new to the industry.
Notice how it’s called artificial intelligence?
Well, it’s just that—artificial. In many ways, it won’t be able to replace the mental abilities of a human.
On the other hand, technology is advancing faster than ever. So, if you’re worried about self driving trucks and what they mean for your career, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll give you all the details about autonomous big rigs and the future of the trucking industry.
How Good is Self-Driving Technology?
By now you’ve seen autonomous cars like Teslas driving down the road—you might even spot those cars driving themselves from time to time.
And while Tesla’s futuristic vehicles have been all the rage recently, they have their problems too.
Stories come out all the time about the technology in these cars making mistakes and endangering their drivers.
Of course, there’s the discussion about the decision-making abilities of this tech too.
Let’s say an autonomous vehicle has to make a quick decision between avoiding a collision and potentially hitting a pedestrian, or running into that vehicle to save the pedestrian.
That’s a serious problem, especially because artificial intelligence can’t make decisions like a human.
While it may think faster than a human, these issues still come up all the time.
And when that AI is pulling 50,000 pounds of cargo, the stakes are a lot higher!
Self Driving Trucks Get Complicated
A self-driving car is one thing…
But autonomous big rig is another beast entirely. Like we said, tens of thousands of pounds of cargo change the game quite a bit.
And that’s not all. You’re probably aware that your average truck has many more blind spots than a car.
That makes placing self-driving sensors on a big rig very difficult. But that doesn’t mean companies aren’t trying.
In February of 2022, self-driving truck maker Waymo revealed that they’re mapping 3 million shipping lanes to improve their autonomous trucks.
We get it—all of this sounds like bad news for truckers and their careers. But while autonomous vehicles might seem like the new wave, you’re not getting the full story.
So, Will Self-Driving Trucks Replace Truckers?
The short answer is no—at least not in our lifetimes.
Like we said earlier, self-driving rigs still can’t do a lot of things that a human driver can.
And American roads vary greatly by location—self driving trucks still seem mostly limited to highway driving and the long haul rather than urban environments.
In fact, autonomous trucks may be a good thing for your career.
You probably know that demand for truckers is high and the pay is even higher. Self-driving trucks may fill some gaps in the trucking workforce…
But it seems they’ll still need a human driver sitting behind the wheel—there are simply too many unknowns about self-driving trucks to let them go on their own.
Just like the self-driving cars we talked about earlier, a human still has to be behind the wheel.
Not to mention, self-driving might make long hauls easier for drivers who won’t have to be alert and focused constantly.
If it’s up to us, we’d take a human driver over a computer hauling cargo every time.
Of course, we can’t control technology.
But we can control how we run our business and who (not what) drives our trucks…
We’re Hiring (Human) Truck Drivers
At JFW Trucking, we value the opportunity to get drivers (veterans and rookies) behind the wheel.
We recognize that the trucking industry is competitive—we offer pay and benefits to match that fact…
- Paid Time Off
- Only local routes
- Health benefits (healthcare, dental, vision, and savings plans)
- Retirement plans
- Paid holidays (New Year’s Day, Easter, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day)
- Quarterly bonuses for driving safely
- Modern equipment and a skilled mechanic team
We treat our drivers like family so they can comfortably support theirs. And our local routes mean you’ll get to go home to your family every night.
Whether you’ve been trucking for decades or you’re just starting out, we’d be happy to welcome you to the team.
Click here to apply now!