I was talking with a Wisconsin potato shipper the other day and he mentioned that he (and others, of course) can’t wait for the day of self-driving, autonomous trucks.
The transportation crunch continues to be a hot topic, and another produce industry source pointed out that the improving economy appears to be pushing more long-haul truckers out of the business of hauling perishables.
The New York Times covers the issue in this report noting that the American Trucking Association reports a record shortage with an estimated 50,000 more drivers needed to meet demand.
Shunning the lure of escalating pay for long-haul trucking, drivers are finding jobs where they can go home every night.
But how soon will the promise of self-driving trucks actually be fulfilled?
According to this article in techemergence.com, the International Transport Forum concluded earlier this year that “driverless trucks could be a regular presence on many roads within the next ten years.” By 2030 the technology could replace between 50%-70% of drivers, the group said.
The technology could arrive as early as 2021, providing government rules don’t slow the use of the technology.
The day of safe, driverless truck options can’t come soon enough for the produce industry.