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Self Driving Truck - Otto

Updated on November 28, 2016

Introduction

A self driving vehicle is the latest craze. Many manufactures, from cars to trucks to vans are being designed and tested and put through its paces. The ultimate goal is improved safety. Is this the way of the future? I wonder.

- Nov. 2016

The Otto

From the description and the promo video, it appears this vehicle is designed to be a new assist to the truck driver and not to replace him. It is the next generation of intelligent cruise control. It can help the driver to be more productive and less straining on long distance hauls. In this narrow scenario, I can see it work very well. In case of emergencies, the driver is still in the vehicle and can take over or handle any unforseen circumstances. For the majority of the time, it frees the driver to handle other duties and allow him to rest on very long hauls. It should improve the overall safety and be more efficient. It can also safe cost which may get passed to the consumer. This innovation will be a plus and not be a burden in terms of lost jobs for drivers.

No Hands...

Some Reservations

  • too much reliance on automation
  • open to cyber attacks and hacking for theft and possible terrorism
  • road hazzards that are out of ordinary may be undetected by sensors
  • must coexist with other drivers who may not always follow the law
  • lost or reduced skills of driver over time due to automation
  • Equipment malfuction at high speeds can be challenging for automated realtime systems
  • may lead to complacency

Potential Positive Effects

  • cure to driver fatigue
  • Reduced fatal accidents with trucks
  • Reduced speeding trucks on highways
  • increased efficiency of trucking business

Summary

I am all for technology and innovation in all aspects of our lives. In cases where robots or intelligent systems can be an assistance to the human worker and not a replacement, I am on board with it. It still needs to be validated in a real environment, with other drivers, and weather conditions and road hazzards. I think time will tell if these new innovation will be proven to be effective.

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      Annkf 2 months ago

      Excellent and thought provoking article. Well done!