Autonomous Auto Transport Trucks? The Future is Closer Than We May Think
The idea of a self-driving car is nothing new. We’ve talked about autonomous auto transport trucks and the automation of freight hauling in the past. It’s something that a lot of companies are looking at, including San Diego-based TuSimple, an autonomous truck startup company out of California. They’ve been tackling the problem for over two years now, and now they’re testing three Class A trucks in Arizona – all autonomous.
In fact, they’re at “level 4” in terms of autonomy. On a scale of 1 to 5, no less, which means that the truck shouldn’t need any human interaction whatsoever. What does this mean for you and your vehicle shipping services?
How autonomous auto transport trucks might change the face of the industry
Let’s start with what TuSimple is doing. They’ve implemented a proprietary camera system, as opposed to using LiDAR, to start. This is actually interesting because according to TuSimple it makes it safer. LiDAR isn’t as reliable and the resolution is lower than what they have in place. So this may actually make their autonomous trucks safer while on the road.
And safety is a major concern when it comes to autonomous driving, considering that the driver isn’t actually in control. Overall, though, the goal of TuSimple is to literally remove the need for a driver at all. Is this feasible? With where the technology is now, that’s likely a pipe dream, at least in the short-term. It’s certainly possible to have logistics trucks that don’t need drivers, but that’ll be down the road a bit.
But when we get there, we could see a drastic lowering of vehicle shipping costs. Autonomous auto transport trucks aren’t on the road yet – even the best systems are still in the testing phase. And it may take longer for the car shipping industry to actually get on board with autonomous trucks, as their cargo is rather specialized. More importantly, an attendant will still be needed to load and unload the freight (i.e., your car). So drivers won’t be going away any time soon.
What this might mean for you
If we do get to a point where drivers just aren’t necessary anymore, this could completely change the industry. No drivers means less overhead for carriers, for starters, which could result in lower prices for your shipment. It could also mean that less popular routes gain popularity, thanks to lower overhead. If driver salary isn’t a concern, that money could be better spent elsewhere, leading to savings for you.
It could also mean lower transit times. Right now, car shipping companies can take upwards of two weeks to get across the country, especially when it’s really busy, like in the summer. But this is partly because human drivers have to stop after so many miles, and they also have other customers to help along the way. Removing the human element could mean it takes less time to service each customer, and more time on the road. Imagine a long-haul truck that doesn’t have to stop except to refuel? That could cut down on time considerably.
Overall, everything is still in the testing phase, and likely will be for quite some time. But it’s an exciting concept – an auto transport truck that doesn’t need a driver. And if those autonomous transport trucks could run on something other than diesel, which could be a possibility in the next few decades as well, that’s just even more savings for trucks – and for you.
American Auto Shipping has you covered
If you’re interested in shipping a car today, let us know! We can get you a free, comprehensive quote to ship to or from anywhere in the United States. With over forty licensed and bonded auto shippers in our network, we can get you the right services for your needs. Go ahead and fill out our free quote request form to get a free quote right away. No hassle, no personal information required, just where you’re shipping from and to and some basic contact info. Of course, you can also contact one of our own agents any time at 800-930-7417. They can give you advice, let you know more about our services, talk to you about your needs, and give you a quote right over the phone.
Since 2007 Dave has written all the content and blogs for American Auto Shipping and during this time added the duties of customer support and transport logistics.
He currently resides in Washington with his three kids and their mom and cat. A fan of Marvel movies and good stories, when not shipping cars Dave can be found working on his novel, enjoying a good book or playing some tournament HALO.
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