No driver working today will need to change careers because of autonomous trucks. Steve Banker looks at why drivers are far from redundant.
Mike Reid, the Chief Operating Officer at Embark Trucks, said that “Anyone employed as a driver today will be able to retire as a driver.” What makes that statement surprising is that Embark is a leading developer of autonomous trucks. One might think that the goal of an autonomous truck company is to render drivers superfluous. The American Trucking Association estimates that there are approximately 3.5 million professional truck drivers in the United States. Companies across Europe and Japan are reporting similar issues. Mr. Reid made the statement at eft’s 3PL and Supply Chain Summit on June 7th.
The Embark model involves truckers driving to a marshalling yard near an Interstate highway. Then the trucks will drive the long-haul portion of the trip autonomously. At the end of the long haul, the truck pulls off the Interstate at another marshalling yard, a driver gets in, and the truck is driven the final miles to its destination.
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