Instructor: David Schuff, Section 003

Self Driving Trucks Changing The Trucking Industry

Waymo announced that its self-driving trucks that they have been developing will be hitting the roads in Georgia this week as it will deliver internally for its parent company Google. Waymo is one of many companies launching self-driving vehicles and is close to really changing the landscape of an industry. The trucking industry has been a large source of non-labor jobs in this nation for years as many non-labor jobs in different industries have become automated. However, the Washington Post does point out that there has been a shortage of truck drivers over the last couple years so while this is providing a more efficient and cost-effective service it also is addressing an industry need. It will be interesting too see how this technology effects the trucking industry and other driving service industries in years to come. What do you think about this new technology? Do you think smaller companies will develop/purchase this technology anytime soon?



3 Responses to Self Driving Trucks Changing The Trucking Industry

  • Christian,

    This is an interesting topic and something I’d never thought of. How expensive is this technology? What companies have ventured into self-driving trucks so far? Small companies may not have the resources to develop or purchase this type of technology. Furthermore, depending on safety risks involved with self-driving trucks, companies may not want to invest. It should be interesting to see how this pans out!

  • You made really good points. The effect of this may cause shortage of labor but possibly for the better. In this case, it’s actually a need because of the lack of workers. I think Google being the first few to try this out is great, it’ll definitely provide insight on how great of an innovation this will turn out to be. As far as for smaller companies, I agree with Tessa, they may not have the resources to utilize this type of technology, but it also depends on the costs.

  • In one of my other classes, we discussed Uber’s potential foray into trucking. Many believe that Uber will someday develop AI for the transport industry. Although I don’t think smaller companies will invest in AI capabilities due to the high cost, I do believe that AI-powered transport will soon exist due to the high demand for truckers. Trucking is an industry which requires a lot of capital (in terms of physical trucks, etc.) that are often owned by companies, who will likely invest in AI once the cost of developing the technology is equal to or less than paying for in-demand human truck drivers.

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