Driverless trucks are the future which is coming ever closer. Driver-less cars are starting to gain traction. It’s inevitable that in the next 20 years we will see the technology move onto trucks. This technology will have an impact on everyone some more than others. But overall will driver-less truck add positivity to our society?
What are the positives?
The main positive of driver-less trucks is their efficiency. These trucks will need no breaks. They also are able to drive more efficiently which will save petrol when compared to a human driver. Also, through the better driving efficiency, this will have an impact on emissions. Emissions will decrease which is important for an industry which is criticized for the large amount emissions it produces.
Cost savings is a positive since labor currently accounts for an estimated 35% to 45% of operating costs of road freight in Europe. This will lead to lower prices for customers.
Also, a driver-less truck may solve an issue that the industry may face in the future. A lot of truckers are in their later periods of their career. This would be okay but very little younger men and women are becoming truck drivers. This technology has the potential to solve this problem.
What are the negatives?
Driverless trucks will have an impact on the current truck drivers, they will become redundant. There are around 285,000 HGV drivers in the UK. For all of these drivers being made redundant by machines would be an economic disaster for the UK. The support in place for displaced workers would not be able to handle the number of displaced workers.
Another risk is having computers involved with trucks opens up security risks which could enable hackers to cause damage.
Although the technology will bring such benefits to society, we cannot forget the 285,000 truck drivers who could lose their job as a result of this. The best way to introducing this, one would think, is by slowly introducing it to the point where over time the trucks take over from the retiring truck drivers. Doing it this way it will reduce the number of redundancies.