Self Driving Trucks Are Crusing Texas Roads
Machine takeover coming soon to a Texas road near you. Alex the intern, fresh off her Thanksgiving WIN of bringing homemade shepherds pie to the radio station started talking about these self-driving trucks that we have been hearing about over in the Austin area. We told her to give us the scoop. Here is what she found.
Global automated trucking company TuSimple is setting up camp in Texas. The self-driving trucking company is establishing a new hub in Forth Worth, TX.
This site will sit within Alliance AllianceTexas' newly launched Mobility Innovation Zone and will be home to a testing site for the driverless freight trucks. According to the press release. AllianceTexas developer Hillwood and TuSimple will begin construction on the hub this month and plan to complete it by March of 2021.
While the hub may be new, 'driverless' trucks in Texas IS NOT. The company already moves freight between Texas and Arizona with their trucks. However, as of now, the trucks do have a “safety driver” behind the wheel and a test engineer in the passenger seat to monitor the vehicle, according to the company.
Can you just imagine driving on 59 and looking up to the 1-wheeler next to you, only to see an empty seat?! Well, if everything stays on the current course, TuSimple expects to have fully driverless transportation on a limited number of routes from Austin to Houston in 2021.
This futuristic breakthrough can be great news for many consumers who shop online. The trucks can potentially help create better delivery times and ease the workload on a portion of the delivery process.
However, there is some skepticism among the trucking industry. Cesar Lopez shared his worry. "I wouldn't trust it, to be honest," said the truck driver. "You're not gonna get in a car without a driver."
Lopez has only been driving big rigs for a year, but Julian Torres, who's been driving almost 40 years, shared the same attitude and worries about the unexpected.
Torres said, "What's gonna happen whenever you have a breakdown or a flat tire."
TuSimple Vice President of Strategy, Lee White. "We use 20 cameras on each truck, four radars, and there are two lidars."
White also explained this technology allows their trucks to see 1000 meters out, further adding, "the autonomous truck sees more, thinks more and reacts faster."
Aside from safety concerns, some truck drivers have also expressed concern about job loss. Vice president White tried to relieve some of those fears by explaining there will still be a need for drivers, emphasizing the AV systems will be used for the long haul middle miles. White said, "The truckers still are focused on the first mile making pickups as well as the actual delivery operation of doing the final deliveries."
Are you ready for these self-driving trucks to hit the roads? How do you feel about the level of modern technology we are currently living in? Will you embrace the tech takeover, or will you high-tail it and ditch your electronics in a strike.
CHECK THEM OUT: 100 years of Christmas toys, gifts and fads