22 Dec Self-driving trucks and their possible impacts on the transport industry
Recently, a convoy of self-driving trucks, devoid of drivers, traveled across Europe to complete its journey in the port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands. While these trucks might not become the standard in a few years, they will undoubtedly begin appearing on the roads.
For many different reasons, this new technology holds great promise for the transportation industry.
Self-driving trucks: substantial cost savings
Technological advances are often the result of expensive research and massive investment by large companies. Without the hope of one day making back the money invested, few innovative concepts would emerge.
In the case of self-driving trucks, the probable savings for transportation companies are considerable and justify significant funding.
When you consider how much it costs to transport merchandise by truck, it is worth noting that about three-quarters is attributable to labour costs. With a fleet of driverless trucks, the amount that can be saved on trucker salaries is considerable.
Self-driving trucks will also be able to circulate almost 24 hours a day, practically doubling the range of operations for transport companies.
Currently, a good percentage of truckers are paid based on mileage. This particularity sometimes pushes them to circulate at speeds that increase fuel consumption.
Self-driving trucks will be programmed to accelerate and drive at maximum fuel economy speeds. Some truck fleets will even be able to coordinate, so that the trucks follow each other and can take advantage of the vacuum effect to minimize the energy deployed to move.
Increased safety with self-driving trucks
In addition to economic benefits, self-driving trucks will also have a positive impact on transportation safety.
Fewer human errors
All truckers, as attentive and conscientious as they can be, are likely to be distracted at times. In such situations, accident risks can be increased.
In the case of self-driving trucks, these human errors will be a thing of the past. Automated vehicles will be equipped with sensors that will allow them to detect dangerous situations from a distance and avoid them.
Transporting dangerous cargo
The transport of dangerous goods requires a high level of vigilance on the part of drivers. The many regulations that companies that transport explosives must comply with is a testament to this. Without going so far as to say they risk their lives, these drivers are nevertheless at the wheel of cargo that is practically a ticking time bomb.
The arrival of self-driving trucks may signal the elimination of high-risk situations that truckers are sometimes faced with.
In short, numerous benefits will come from the emergence of self-driving trucks. However, driverless trucks won’t be the norm anytime too soon.
In the meantime, you can trust Econo Nord professionals to meet all your road transport needs. Do not hesitate to contact us for a quote.