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NYT thinks about the future of truck stops with the rise of automated trucking

The New York Times run a piece about upcoming changes for truckers and trucking industry. Transition seems to be when self-driving trucks reshape the way goods are transported from one place to another”, the support system serves [truckers] in danger of disappearing”, referring to the wonderful or miserable truck stops placed like waypoints on the US highway system. The article said 550,000 truckers pass through. the road and hit some of the other troubles they face – complicated driving regulations, fine hours, expensive food on the road and serious difficulty finding parking. As for autonomous trucking, yes, it’s coming, but as with self-driving carMass adoption of self-driving trucks takes decades to overcome problems such as geography, weather, and human nature.

The sparse and empty shelves in almost every type of store make the current global situation the perfect catalyst to spur the growth of self-driving trucks. And there have been large unmanned rigs in the South, where long stretches of mostly straight highways pose as easily a challenge to tractors as they do to cars. But truckers don’t make money on the highways, they make money from loading goods from highways to warehouses without clogging cars and infrastructure on roads designed to hold trucks. much smaller vehicles. (That’s the ideal world; it doesn’t always work out that way.) Here’s why the industry will take so long to replace truck drivers with driverless trucks. .

One self-driving car needing to back up or pull over can do so almost anywhere. The options for a 73-foot long, 8.5-foot wide headcar are a bit smaller and the penalties for mistakes are much larger, which is why drivers have to plan a lot to avoid negligence situations. Just avoiding other inattentive drivers on the road is hard enough in a car. Every off-road driver spends a negligible amount of time in their shift making sure they don’t kill the scores of car drivers who don’t realize that a loaded rig needs about 600 feet to stop. back from 65 miles per hour.

Once again, self-driving off-road trucks are coming and the sooner the better. They could help alleviate the shortage of about 60,000 OTR drivers facing the industry and help replenish those shelves. I don’t think the system supports – Pilot, Sweetheart, T/A Travel Center and the like – will go anywhere too. Truck stops figured out some time ago that the size, width of the products and cheap gasoline attracts even drivers of light vehicles. And self-driving trucks need fuel just as much as someone to pump gas.

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