Entire Industyr in Peril!
My name is Jennifer Page and I plied America's highways for over thirty five years as a professional driver. Recently I read an article about Uber getting into the trucking industry ( Uber Officially Enters Trucking - TruckersReport.com ) and I started digging around on the internet for more information when I discovered some startling data that actually caused goose bumps all the way down my spine. Not only are company drivers going to be relics of the past through the introduction of autonomous vehicles, but the entire industry is in peril if we don't get up off our butts and start using our collective voice to save our industry from a future that will surely become a vestige of "days gone by". Below is a short excerpt from my blog at Universal Trucker ( https://www.universaltrucker.com/soc...ster/index.php ), where I outline exactly what the future holds for us if we don't take positive steps to secure our future, and that of our children who are heirs to our throne. I have included links to back up my findings and my hope is that I can wake up the industry in time to deal with the threat. Due to the fact that I'm not sure how much space I' allowed, I only posted about half the blog post here. Please read it, and please wake up. Our children are depending on us.
Not far from me is a Pilot truck stop, and I like to go there to listen to the scuttle butt that circulates through the industry. It's my way of keeping in touch with the heartbeat of our nation, of which I partook of for over thirty five years. If you ever need an opinion on any subject matter to write about, ask a trucker. By the time you leave the truck stop, you will have enough material to write volumes.
Recently I went there to get some insight on how truckers feel about Uber getting into the trucking industry, and the introduction of autonomous vehicles on Interstate highways. As you would expect, I got a variety of opinions, and I wasn't surprised to find out that most truckers don't believe the technology is good enough to jeopardize their jobs and most of them really don't expect it to become usefully functional for at least another twenty or so years. I hope that my fellow truckers don't get offended by what I'm about to say, but I really believe that most truckers are only fooling themselves.
Just look at the way technology has been advancing. In 1915 people actually believed that the automobile would never replace the horse. yet only twenty years later (just one generation), in 1935, New York City was already experiencing traffic jams and the constant honking of car horns. Over 50% of city dwellers owned an automobile. And it was back in 1903 people in Kitty Hawk, NC were heard to say, "It'll never fly", and some people even watched hoping to get a good view of what they believed would be a disastrous, even fatal, epic fail. Yet sixty six years later we put a man on the Moon. There were people alive during the lunar landing who remember reading about Orville and Wilbur, and their amazing flying machine. And for my final example I will use my own personal experience. In 2000 I used to keep change in my truck in case I needed to use a payphone. In 2010 I left my cell phone at home and I couldn't find a working payphone in any truck stop I stopped at on I-95 between Savannah, GA and Miami, FL.
We are truly hurtling into a technological future that is doubling daily. According to "Industry Tap", our technology is doubling every twelve months and it won't be long before it will be doubling every twelve hours ( Knowledge Doubling Every 12 Months, Soon to be Every 12 Hours - Industry Tap). With these kinds of strides in knowledge, I'm predicting we will have working autonomous vehicles on the road within the next three years. The know-how is there. All that they have to do now is refine it. One day soon you will be driving down the highway and you will pass a truck with no driver in it. But let's not stop here.
There are emerging technologies that are being looked at as an alternative to transporting freight via truck altogether... Read more
Yet another selfless advert clogging the board.
Albeit, the UBER getting into trucking did pique my interest a bit.
Now go back to Truckers Report and your blog.
Don't let the door hit your shapely fanny................
Fuel for free. Pre/Post trip for free. Sit at shipper/receiver for free. "Work 80-100, log 70, get paid for 40." Welcome to OTR coolie carrier truck driving!
Autonomous in trucking is coming, that is true, but we are talking at best 15 years. So it will happen, no matter how much we voice our opinions against it. Drivers will still be needed similar to trains needing operators to mind them, so your concern isn't as valid. Maybe one day, 30-40 years down the road trucks will no longer need minders but I highly doubt that ever happens. The extreme danger of a ghost truck running amuck is legit in this hackers world.
As for Uber, how is it any different than brokers? Brokers get loads and in a way use a rental truck/driver to move the load, that's about all Uber would be, a broker for loads. So rates might drop a few pennies more........the system will correct itself and rates will recover those few pennies.