If you are the owner or operator of a large fleet of trucks, you know that human error can be blamed for many of the accidents and incidents that occur on the roads. For that reason, some high-tech companies want to change the way that trucks traverse the roads. They suggest that it may soon be possible to make those deliveries with a driverless truck. Take away the human element, replace it with high tech sensors and computer systems, and, ultimately, the roads could be safer, and you could enjoy a better bottom line.
That being said, we don’t believe that total autonomous trucks are going to be seen for many years to come. Tech advancements may, though, reduce the number of accidents suffered by truck drivers, and that could also mean less money spent on repairs, which will look very good on your financial reports.
Right now, a company is looking to create a aftermarket kit that could be applied to the existing trucks in a fleet to make them autonomous. The team working on this venture suggests that it may be closer at hand than many currently believe. They have set their goals at the aftermarket kit, figuring that it could get them into the market before the company trying to build autonomous trucks from the ground up.
To rebuild a fleet with these new trucks would be expensive – likely unrealistically expensive for most trucking companies. The new technology would increase the price of trucks by as much as $25,000 per vehicle, and that could ultimately mean spending as much as $200,000 or more on a single truck. That isn’t reasonable, according to the team building the kits. They hope to give companies the option of simply retrofitting their existing trucks, making the process much more affordable up front.
Either way, there could be major financial benefits to making the upgrades, whether that is made available within the next five years or the next fifty. Autonomous trucks are expected to be much more fuel efficient. They won’t require drivers (or will require only one driver for up to five trucks), which means less spent on payroll and less money spent trying to recruit drivers from a diminishing talent pool. And, of course, there is the issue of safety. The tech companies insist that the computerized trucks would make the roads safer and cut down on the number of accidents reported annually. That means less spent on tractor trailer repair.