Experts say driverless trucks likely decades away, 'like going to the moon'

CMSBrowserComponents.load({ el: ‘#vue-1633811656432-626’, name: ‘OEmbed’, props: {“mountPoint”:”/__oembed”,”url”:”″,”attrs”:{“type”:”oembed”,”id”:”″,”element”:”aside”}}, hydrate: false });Trucking technology seems mired in a race to market between electrification and self-driving, with every North American truck OEM heaping millions of dollars and countless development hours into each.Despite players like Google-sibling Waymo climbing into the self-driving truck space alongside entrants like TuSimple and Torc Robotics – who have picked up investment stakes from the likes of Traton and Daimler Trucks, respectively – Thom Albrecht, Reliance Partners Insurance CFO & chief revenue officer and former chief commercial officer and chief financial officer with Celadon, doesn’t believe a Level 5 capable truck (one with no driver in the cab) will happen any time within the next 20 years “The fact we still have a couple pilots in planes. We still have a conductor on a train,” he said. “I don’t think the public’s going to tolerate that. It will find a role in the industry in the next 20 years with some level of driver involvement.””I think one of the good things that’s happening is the research that’s being done. I think that’s a valuable technology and I think we can benefit in other ways. Not unlike going to the moon in 1969. There was a lot of ancillary technology benefits that came out of that.”While the march toward true Level 5 technology will be long, J.B. Hunt Senior Vice President Corporate Safety, Security and Driver Personnel Greer Woodruff said the safety benefits of autonomous-like driver assistance features have been immediate. Hear more about driverless trucks from former acting FMCSA Director Wiley Deck on this week’s 10-44 webisode in the video above.”I do think autonomous trucks and manned trucks will be part of a future supply chain,” he said. The promise of autonomous driving has long been sold as a solution for fleets struggling to recruit and retain drivers, but Woodruff…

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