With all the surrounding speculation and opinions on driverless vehicles already apparent, the move to introducing driverless freight trucks will have to be managed carefully by governments.
Although the concept of driverless trucks makes us feel as though we are finally living in a future reminiscent of a Ridley Scott Sci-Fi picture, the transition of such technology could cause some serious social repercussions – If not for the sheer uneasiness that many feel about autonomous vehicles, but also for the vast job losses that may occur as a result of the change.
Analysts predict that automated trucks could cause a reduction in the demand for drivers by up to 70 % in both Europe and the US by 2030, and could cause redundancy for approximately 6.4 million professional truckers.
However, there’s no need to fear just yet – as stated, these are only analyst predictions, and were ran based off of a particular scenario which saw the autonomous vehicle industry dominate the HGV marketplace throughout the 2020’s.
Though, it must be mentioned that predictions also indicate that over 2 million drivers throughout both Europe and the US could be directly displaced according to concurrent scenario reports.
The call to help ease driverless transport for the HGV marketplace hinges on a report detailing four crucial elements:
* To establish a transition advisory board to advise on labour issues.
* To consider a temporary permit system to manage the speed of adoption.
* To set international standards, road rules and vehicle regulations for self-driving trucks.
* To continue pilot projects with driverless trucks to test vehicles, network technology and communications protocols.
These four protocols were jointly agreed upon by the organisations that represented the HGV industry, including Manufacturers, truck operators and transport workers unions.
The report calling for dramatic action was prepared as a joint effort by the ACEA, European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association, the ITWF, International Transport Workers Federation and the IRU, International Road Transport Union.
Whilst there are clearly many benefits associated with driverless trucks, the future still remains awfully foggy. Much speculation has gone into not only tackling the practicality behind autonomous vehicles, but also the halting the potential negative domino effect it could have on the HGV industry.