Look Out! Waymo and J.B. Hunt Will Test Self-Driving Trucks in Texas
Remember that scene in Logan when automated trucks tried to kill Wolverine and Professor X? Why can't I stop picturing that when I read about companies testing self-driving trucks here in Texas?
Alright, to be fair it's subtly implied that outside forces are manipulating the trucks to knock off our heroes, but I mean...who's to say trucks won't be hacked in the future? Someone hacked a freakin' fuel pipeline earlier this year and brought the East Coast to its knees.
Maybe I'm being too pessimistic, but over the years we've seen seen a great deal of jobs lost to automation. Now the trucking industry's looking to be robotized.
The Verge and Tech Crunch report that Waymo and J.B. Hunt are teaming up to test self-driving trucks along Interstate 45 between Ft. Worth and Houston.
The trucks will be tasked with delivering cargo, but for now they'll also be occupied by a licensed driver and a software technician to observe the trucks and try to identify and iron out any problems.
Depending on who you ask, there may or may not be a shortage of truck drivers. Earlier this year, Texas-based Sisu Energy made headlines when they offered huge incentives for new drivers.
Trucking remains one of the most important industries when it comes to keeping civilization from descending into chaos. Think I'm exaggerating? Think back to last year when people were getting into fights over supplies when store shelves couldn't be restocked quickly enough for panic buyers.
We owe truckers a lot, and now it looks like they'll be competing with robots in the near future. Will AI convoys be replacing all human drivers soon?
Probably not. The tech is still being tested and developed, so we'll still rely on our fellow people for at least another couple of decades. But the automation creeps in like a fog.
Like I said, maybe I'm just a pessimist. However you feel about more industries becoming automated, it's clear that tough decisions and fundamental changes in how we view labor, security, and success are coming.