For years the concept of driverless cars was seen more as a flight of fancy but that is about to change. Google has already clocked up thousands of miles in a hybrid Prius, its autonomous car is a familiar sight on the California and Nevada highways. What’s more, BMW and AUDI have just unveiled their latest driverless technology at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and other motor manufacturers are working on autonomous cars as we speak. Let’s face it, we already have cars that park themselves so although it still seems a bit of a dream, could these concepts work and will we see driverless cars and trucks on the road in our life time?
Driverless trucks are already here. Computer controlled trucks are used to transport ore around mines so is it such a stretch of the imagination to picture freight trucks hurtling down the motorway? The vision is there, the technology is being fine-tuned and trucks could be guided by GPS, sensors and use systems that continually evaluate their surroundings taking into consideration obstacles, hazards and other dangers.
There are obvious benefits to autonomous trucks. Fuel efficiency would be increased due to optimising braking and accelerating, you wouldn’t have to worry about driver hours and human error would be taken out of the equation as well. In theory, the trucks could keep on going with regular fill-ups, all you’d need to do is unload them, reload them and off they go again trundling along out of peak hours.
We’re not sure if we’re ready to embrace driverless trucks just yet at Espace Global Freight, our drivers certainly wouldn’t be happy that’s for sure! Still, it’s an interesting idea and we’ll be keeping our eyes and ears open for any developments in the industry. You never know, you might see one of our trucks passing one day without a driver behind the wheel. Watch this space!