Who’s Driving?

Self-Driving Tractor Trailers To Hit The Road This Year !

Who’s driving that rig?  Answer very soon may be “Nobody!”

A fleet of self-driving 18-wheelers will soon be trucking their way across U.S. highways. The 80,000-pound autonomous vehicles are being developed by Aurora Innovation and will begin driving loads in Texas later this year. Their goal is to have thousands of trucks on the roads within the next 3-4 years. Aurora has already tested out its trucks with human safety drivers on board, with three crashes reported since 2021.  Can’t’ say I’m entirely comfortable with the idea, not that the technological advancement isn’t impressive, but I’ve known a lot of truck drivers over the years, and would hate to see them out of a job.  Plus, I doubt an array of sensors and computer modules could react as a human driver to all unplanned situations that might arise on the road, or the subtleties of maneuvering a narrow city street or perhaps, construction zone.  Sure, humans aren’t without fail, but when focused, we can react pretty quickly, like hitting a 90 mile n hour fastball from 60 feet.  I might feel better if all these trucks where brightly colored, loaded with more flashing lights than a Vegas casino, and clearly labelled “DRIVERLESS!”  That would allow me, upon identifying such vehicle, to speed around it as if it were the Enola Gay hauling Little Boy!   Of course, if driverless big rigs cause too much anxiety, I can always take the bus…until they’re all self-driving too.



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