The Future of Trucking 6 Mind-Bending Future Helicopters & Aircrafts 6 months ago   06:55

The Daily Conversation
Imagining the future of the vast trucking industry that will become autonomous in the coming years.
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The semi-truck. Our modern lives are completely dependent on them. Look around you. Every object you see probably traveled on at least one big rig. Here in America, truckers make up 2% of the workforce. But with multiple game-changing technologies converging simultaneously — and the relentlessness of the hyper-competitive global marketplace — the industry will be revolutionized within the next two decades.

This is an examination of the future of trucking.

Before we get into the technology that will turn it all upside-down, we must first understand the way this extremely fragmented industry works now. To the numbers! There are about 3 million drivers for 2.5 million trucks in the US. Those trucks are owned by 532,000 carrier companies, but 90% of these fleets have fewer than six trucks—and half of all carriers are single individuals who own and operate their own rig. Then you have the middlemen, the freight brokers. These 13,000 companies play matchmaker between the manufacturers and wholesalers (who are trying to get their goods to market) and the retailers (who make the final sale to the consumer).

Because this industry is so splintered, there aren’t universal software systems tying it all together. In fact, 67% of shippers don’t use software at all and rely solely on paper records—in 2017!

This creates tremendous inefficiency. When every piece of information has to be communicated through human interactions, drivers are frequently forced to wait hours to book or pick-up a load. And sometimes they just don’t, an estimated 20% of trucks on the road are empty.

To solve these problems, investors are spending hundreds of millions of dollars on startups competing to develop the silver bullet, a software layer that can be used by every segment of the industry.

Another area ripe for modernization is how trucks are powered. Today, medium and heavy duty trucks account for 6% of the greenhouse gas emissions produced in America.

To their credit, companies like Walmart are looking to transition to fleets powered by cleaner natural gas, the bridge fuel America has embraced to transition to renewables.

That’s where Tesla comes in. Elon Musk, CEO of the electric car manufacturer, plans to unveil an electric-powered semi-truck in the next six months.

Battery range will be the biggest obstacle to the widespread adoption of electric trucks as Tesla’s pack will probably only have a 200-300 mile range. The other challenge will be having enough charging stations — and enough power available at each station — to support fleets of Tesla trucks.

The Nikola One attempts to overcome these limitations. This gorgeous, hydrogen fuel cell truck will have a range up to 1,200 miles. The young company plans to begin leasing their trucks by 2020 for about $6,000 a month — including the cost of fuel — but it will first need to build a network of about 400 charging stations throughout the country.

Cutting the emissions of semi-trucks is great for the environment, but the real cost-saving opportunity lies in cutting out the drivers.

It’s been more than a year now since six convoys of semi-autonomous “smart” trucks arrived at the Netherlands port city of Rotterdam after leaving factories from as far away as Sweden and Southern Germany.

That experiment relied on a system called platooning, a semi-autonomous feature allowing trucks to find each other, link up, and draft to cut down on wind drag, saving energy—just like in NASCAR or the Tour de France.

And in October, a self-driving truck completed the first commercial shipment by an autonomous vehicle, delivering a load of Budweiser more than 120 miles across Colorado. A human got the truck on the highway and engaged the autonomous system, then climbed out of the driver’s seat. That truck was made by Otto motors, which was recently acquired by Uber.

And dozens of massive, 240-ton trucks are already being used in Australian mines.

So that’s the near-future we’ll see in the next 10 years: fleets of driverless trucks. Some will be designed to be autonomous, while others will have the system installed later. Many will be electric, and nearly all will be connected to efficient networks that are not slowed down by frequent human input.

Comments 1725 Comments

Jason Conover
We have a very foolish younger generation spouting hopeful wishes out of ignorance.
Jason Conover
The narrator is displaying one sided arguments.
Looks like humanity slowly is steering its way to self destruction and replacement by machines. Reminds me of movie Terminator.
Black Cracka
When we have pilot less aircraft, THEN we'll have driverless trucking.
Duncan McLore
While I find the idea of driverless or autonomous vehicles fascinating I can't help but see the dystopia of all this we are not "geared" to be a sentient race that lives solely leisure. I believe that if we allow for a utopian as described in this video we will find ourselve the victim of an ever expandinggap between those who are truly in power and those who will become superfluous.
Sam D'Amico
Elon musk is more well off than is truckers already with his automobiles, but that’s not enough for him now he wants to put us out of work and affect our families. What a POS
Jobs wont be lost as autonomous containers cant navigate cities and small towns. It will be a hybrid of long highways autonomous and humans for cities. Also humans will need to be there to service the machines.
income inequality is a good thing
Darryl Wright
Talk about fantasy. The real world is analog not digital. The computer can't handle it.
Black Rifle Coffee
Stopped at Tesla - what a con man Elon Musk is. Have a downvote.
Mike B
Have no fear! Make a plan. Buy a farm if you can!
Cloud by Day Fire by Night
Bad idea
Raymond Serpa
The problem that is almost impossible to overcome,is how other traffic interacts with all kinds of moving obsticles on the roads with cars!People will not give up their cars easily!and they must give them up for autonomous vehicles to be safe!It is tricky predicting the future(the Jetsons).It is nice to see child like optimism,but the technology is in it's infancy!In twenty years or so autonomous vehicles may be readily available,but for people to accept and adapt:probably 50 years+!Unless something drastic occurs!
Johnny D
Can we please stop with the Green House Gases thing..? I mean its not even global warming anymore. We all know its not real.
Remove people who develop YouTube clips by auto YouTube AI computer systems. Remove Congress by an auto-Congress.. Heck —- Remove everyone! What kind of world are you making and for whom? I expect there will be a need for more paramedics for all the major car, truck, airline, train, auto forklift accidents, etc. Yep — we all become paramedics.
Dirt Mover
What happens when the network or software goes down and the trucks won’t move in traffic, or does not stop at a light a kills someone
Jesse Hernan
Then Tesla will be rolling out with automated cops and robot grunts to deal with the increase of crime due to unemployment. Win-Win for the big corporations just like Skynet. I am going to rewatch Terminator now to see what the future has in store for me. Yay!
Jesse Hernan
These so called technology revolutionaries are delusional that automated trucks will be a thing. The Airline industry has autopilot, but yet, it still needs human pilot intervention in case of an emergency or change of flight path due to weather, and to take off and landing, and communications. Trains stills needs operators, and they operate in tracks and don’t really need to worry about stupid drivers on the road, rush hour and detours. So again, how is it they found a solution to have automated trucks on the roads where the likelihood of an accident are higher than flying? And who is going to back up this robot into the loading dock? And who is going to strap the load and take responsibility in case of a mishap? And who is doing the pre-trip and post-trip to comply with DOT?
Disliked video been a trucker for 2 years not doing anything else this is my life till i die
Matt Huff
The robots are coming! Andrew Yang 2020
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6 Mind-Bending Future Helicopters & Aircrafts The Future of Trucking 6 months ago   16:35

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