Nobody could have expected some of the larger disruptions in the trucking industry in the past few years. A global pandemic and major supply chain problems upended the industry, causing erratic waves of furloughs, layoffs, and re-hiring.
For 2023, nobody knows what the future holds for sure. But that doesn’t stop Class A Drivers from picking a few hot topics that might define trucking in the upcoming year.
Prediction #1: Electric Vehicles Continue to Improve.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued new regulations for truck manufacturers designed to cut emissions, set to take effect over the next decade. These regulations are still less severe than California’s mandate to ban new diesel trucks by 2040.
Meanwhile, the Biden Administration continues to promise more electric charging stations across the country while offering subsidies to green energy companies. With this continued concern and lobbying about the effects of climate change, the emissions of heavy-duty trucks is one issue that doesn’t seem to be going away.
Fortunately, we have covered some creative new technologies that will help facilitate the transition to electric vehicles. We expect new developments towards electric heavy-duty trucks used for long-haul routes to be announced in 2023.
Prediction #2: Autonomous Is a Bust.
While electric technology seems to be a huge priority with reasonable technology on the horizon, development of fully autonomous trucking seems to slowing to a crawl.
In a recent interview with The Verge, Karen Levy, author of Data Driven: Truckers, Technology, and the New Workplace Surveillance, remains skeptical of autonomous trucking. She commented:
“It is true that humans have faults — but automating them away isn’t a solution. There will always be a role for humans in (so-called) autonomous systems — in their design, operation, maintenance, use, and oversight. Those rules may look different than they did before, but the notion that humans can be eliminated from systems is fundamentally false.”
As companies like Tesla are learning, safe autonomous driving on roads filled with other drivers and potentially pedestrians isn’t ready for prime-time. Sure, an autonomous truck can move from point A to point B with no traffic, but that’s just not the reality of our highways today. There’s too much unpredictability for the machines to take over.
We’ll get lots of articles and puff pieces about autonomous, but the rise of the robots isn’t on the horizon.
Prediction #3: Truck Driver Wages Continue to Rise
With autonomous trucking as a bust, it’ll be clear that skilled truck drivers remain in high demand. Throughout 2021 and 2022, we’ve seen trucking companies raise wages and increase benefits to attract drivers to their company.
Our prediction at Class A Drivers is that this trend will continue. Trucking is the one industry that isn’t going away. Americans will always need goods of all types to be delivered to their cities.
Regardless of economic conditions, truck drivers will be needed for the US economy to keep running. So if you’re looking for your next truck driving job, create a Driver Account and apply easily on ClassADrivers.com.