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Any truckers out there? I know of some GTT members who ruled the roads a while back. Levi, BigJim and Coaltrain to name a few.:good2:

So what's the future hold for trucking technology? Hybrid? Battery Electric Drive? Enhanced Conventional Technology?

Ran across this video that Shell produced featuring their Starship Project and found it interesting. Hope you do too!

[video]https://rotella.shell.com/en_us/starship.html[/video]
 

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Autonomous is the holy grail, then whatever drive tech that's affordable and ubiquitously available.
 

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Autonomous is the holy grail, then whatever drive tech that's affordable and ubiquitously available.
I can see autonomous technology included with any form of propulsion down the road. I doubt if it will be full autonomous anytime soon though. A driver / attendant will be required until the country has 5G service everywhere. 5G and pinpoint GPS mapping are the foundation of autonomous operation. These are two huge projects. Additionally, liability and insurance expenses will be need to be factored in. Fuel & Labor are the largest transportation expenses so when and where improvements can be made in those areas the cost and ecological benefits will be fairly significant.
 

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A while back I thought surely the trains would take over which would be great. When I was driving I would see freight trains loaded with dozens of Swift trailers. It made sense in that the tractors would pull the trailers to the nearby train terminal then the train would take it to the nearest destination terminals where a tractor would bring it to the recipient.

Either way I am sure there will be big advances in freight efficiency in the near future. Most all companies large and small work on a just-in-time inventory system now. The freight has to go and has to be on schedule. That seems to be working now so what is left now is fuel or energy efficiency.
 

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I think we will see platooning 1st with one truck leading several. Allot of testing going on. The military has really driven this and now that tech is being applied. Big issue will be getting rules changed to allow drivers trailing units to log trailing time as break time
 

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Autonomous is the holy grail, then whatever drive tech that's affordable and ubiquitously available.
I think that’s coming sooner than most people think. There is a shortage of truck drivers. There already using forklifts are driverless. Driverless trucks is the next step. They will likely go from the factory to a drop lot at first. Leaving final delivery to a driver.
 

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I don't know Frank, seeing a rig come up behind me with no driver while driving my wifes 2005 crossfire would make me a little nervous. I'm sure I'll be dead before they truly become autonomous..
There would go the owner operator too. More people out of work.
 

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Autonomous rigs

I don't know Frank, seeing a rig come up behind me with no driver while driving my wifes 2005 crossfire would make me a little nervous. I'm sure I'll be dead before they truly become autonomous..
There would go the owner operator too. More people out of work.
On the numbers side, I suspect that autonomous vehicles are as safe or perhaps safer than many, even most drivers on the road today. I'm not particularly thrilled about the idea but when I think of all the bonehead driving stunts I've seen over the years, maybe something with safety rules built in would be as good as or better than an idiot behind the wheel.

I visited Ford 2 years ago and during the visit we saw several autonomous vehicles driving around in Detroit. They had safety drivers in the vehicle but just in case, they weren't actually operating the vehicle. Probably ten years ago I was in the Stihl plant in Virginia Beach Virginia and their fork lifts were all driverless. Impatient too, they would beep at you if you were in the way. (Stihl was installing a robot to palletize shipments and having a little trouble with it. it would occasionally toss a boxed chainsaw off in a corner but I assume they got it fixed.)

Someone mentioned there are other issues and one of the big ones is insurance. There's a whole structure of companies and legal precedents built up about insurance. Who's at fault for what? Is the insurance company liable to pay under standard contracts etc. That all goes out the window if the car owner/lessee can't control the vehicle. I suspect, but don't know that the vehicle manufacturer will ultimately be responsible for anything related to the operation of an autonomous vehicle and the manufacturers will be setting up their own insurance companies which will become part of the vehicle cost on a yearly basis. (I'm not a lawyer and don't play one on GTT. . . ) I know current auto insurance companies are looking at this as a threat because it's possible their auto insurance market could dry up. For most multiline companies that's 50% or more of their business. Autonomous vehicles could be a black swan event for them.

While the technical challenges may be pretty much solved, the acceptance by the public may be slow. Intellectually, I can accept that an autonomous vehicle is safer than a driver when measured by crashes per million miles. However, if it's me or my family that's at risk, it makes me a little uneasy. That's probably not rational but it is human and I suspect most people have a similar reaction.

I need to go clean up my buggy whip while I think about this. It might take me a while to find it.

Treefarmer
 

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I have a Tesla and while it isn’t truly autonomous. typically it does 90% of the driving when we do a road trip. I really only do true driving between the highway exit and the final destination. It’s nowhere near perfect, but it’s miles better then letting either of my parents drive (not that I road trip with them).

It seems like in a few years we could have autonomous trucks that drive the highways 100% on their own and then lets a remote driver drive them to the destination. Why have a driver in a truck if they are just sleeping while it drives?


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