Will the trucking industry be automated by end of 2030?
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Resolves subjectively. But I'll be looking for signs that the number of truckers has dramatically declined.

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@AlQuinn by the way, I hope that "driverless trucks" with drivers in them aren't considered "driverless" in this market.

@AlQuinn If drivers are in the trucks, I’d probably say that’s not fully automated

I believe it is unlikely the entire trucking industry will be fully automated by 2030.

1.      Self-driving trucks still have technical problems to solve, like navigating busy cities safely. Experts don't think these will be fully solved by 2030. Tesla's Full Self-Driving (FSD) system, for example, is capable of semi-autonomous highway driving. However, the technology still faces issues related to urban driving, adverse weather conditions, and complex traffic scenarios.

2.      Government regulations for approving self-driving trucks as safe are still not in place. This slow process limits how fast they can be adopted. Also, the problem of millions of drivers’ unemployment is a huge issue.

3.      Most people don't feel comfortable with self-driving trucks yet due to safety reasons. In a survey, only 23% would use a fully autonomous truck.

While some self-driving trucks will start operating by 2030, human drivers will still be needed for most routes, especially complex urban ones.

Seitz, P., & Galgani, M. (2023, March 1). Autonomous Trucks Are Barreling Ahead, But Robot Big Rigs Face A Bumpy Road. Investor’s Business Daily. https://www.investors.com/news/technology/autonomous-trucks-are-coming-but-face-bumpy-road/

Gerdes, J.C., & Thornton, S.M. (2022). Implementable ethics for autonomous vehicles. In M. Polycarpou (Ed.), Handbook of Ethics, Values, and Technological Design. Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-6994-6_104-1

predicts NO

Trucking industry is fragmented and low margin, limiting how much capital investment is affordable. I've seen some 5-7 year roadmaps showing what they are investing in, and it includes stuff like: basic system security so they don't get hacked and infected with ransomware constantly, maybe buying several electric rigs for operating in California, and upgrading from their 40 year old AS400 systems to something perhaps only 20 years old.

Is it fine if a lot of deliveries (say 10%) have a very short (less than 2% of the total time spent in transit) manual intervention at some point during the trip?

@makoyass Mmm not sure. I was thinking of a trucking industry where it’s automated end to end, including loading and unloading. I’d have to look into it more though

@NathanNguyen It's a tough call, I wouldn't recommend making it that version of the question, since that's a financially insignificant amount of labor. From a technical position it's arguably more interesting, but it like, doesn't matter irl.

I think it's somewhat unlikely to end up this way, actually, if interventions are sometimes needed, this will often be coincident with the system having unexpected catastrophic failure on the road and it just wouldn't be a viable product to begin with.

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