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Self Driving Truck does 120 mile beer run

3459 Views 8 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  emartin00
Otto, Uber’s self-driving truck company just completed its first shipment: 50,000 cans of Budweiser. In the early morning hours of October 20th, an 18-wheeler tractor trailer pulled into Colorado Springs, Colorado, bearing 50,000 frosty cans of Budweiser beer. Normally, this would not be a noteworthy occurrence, but this truck was driving itself, marking the first time that commercial cargo was shipped by a self-driving vehicle.

http://www.theverge.com/2016/10/25/13381246/otto-self-driving-truck-budweiser-first-shipment-uber

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The article has a flaw in logic.

1. Self-driving trucks will displace jobs.
2. There are not enough truck drivers for all the trucks now.

I'm thinking that there will be plenty of need for truck drivers. Especially local delivery as in this case. First iteration might be a depot to depot run that the trucks can handle, but, still needing drivers for the last 25 miles. Driving forward on a highway is WAY easier than backing up to a dock and driving in the city.

Drivers might be only doing the pilot legs (like current ships at sea), but, pilots make more than captains in some cases.
 

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I wonder how the self driving trucks will deal with the sudden flat tires, extreme weather or clogged particulate filters. Or cross border paperwork that is not correctly filled out. There is a trucking company in Hamilton, Ontario called Fluke Transport. Their slogan is funny but kind of a statement about the reality of mixed load trucking - "If it's on time, it's a Fluke"
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·

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The article has a flaw in logic.

1. Self-driving trucks will displace jobs.
2. There are not enough truck drivers for all the trucks now.

I'm thinking that there will be plenty of need for truck drivers. Especially local delivery as in this case. First iteration might be a depot to depot run that the trucks can handle, but, still needing drivers for the last 25 miles. Driving forward on a highway is WAY easier than backing up to a dock and driving in the city.

Drivers might be only doing the pilot legs (like current ships at sea), but, pilots make more than captains in some cases.
I think Ford has proven that backing up a trailer can be done by a computer. Their trailer backup assist uses a simple knob input to back up a trailer. Changing that to a camera and LIDAR sensor should be relatively easy.
 
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