I thought this piece was great: This ex-trucker has some questions about the Tesla Semi – Autoblog.
It punctures the hype behind Tesla’s new truck in the best possible way, by carefully and methodically asking questions and bringing up real life experiences that show the limitations of the truck.
Too few tech reviews come with this type of analysis. I’d like to see more of it. Most tech reviews are positive summaries of features. Or there are a small number of pieces that say such and such will never work because I say so. In either case, the person reviewing it comes from a technology background. I’d like to see more non-technical reviews of technology.
If you are interested in Tesla or the direction of automotives, it is well worth a read.
This piece, 1.8 million American truck drivers could lose their jobs to robots. What then? (Vox) is a great primer on self driving trucks and how they are going to have a major impact sooner than later.
If you are interested in IT, AI or robots, it really shows one of the places where this technology is going to have a significant impact.
If you are interested in economics, politics, or sociology, then the effect of robots replacing all these truck drivers is definitely something you want to be aware of.
If you drive on highways, you definitely want to know about it.
In any case, it’s a good piece by David Roberts. That is his beat and I find he always does a great job of breaking down a topic like this and making it easier to understand and relevant to me. I recommend any of his pieces.
While there is lots of discussion about self driving cars, it’s much more likely that self driving trucks will become standard and accepted first. Here are two stories that support that. First this: How Canada’s oilsands are paving the way for driverless trucks — and the threat of big layoffs. Second, over at Vox, is: This is the first licensed self-driving truck. There will be many more. Key quote from Vox:
Last night at the Hoover Dam, the Freightliner company unveiled its Inspiration Truck: the first semi-autonomous truck to get a license to operate on public roads.
The Inspiration is now licensed to drive autonomously on highways in Nevada. It works a bit like a plane’s autopilot system: a driver will get the rig on the highway, and can take control at any time once it’s there. But the truck will be able to drive itself at high speeds, using cameras to make sure it stays within its lane and doesn’t get too close to the vehicle in front of it.
Self driving trucks are already up and operational. Additionally, the business case and the hurdles to overcome with self driving trucks will be easier to achieve than that of self driving cars in urban areas. Sooner than you think, you will commonly see self driving trucks on highways, especially during the hours when most highways are 80-90% trucks.
Transportation is changing. Self driving trucks are going to be leading that change. Self driving cars will be a distant second.