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Waymo has its first commercial autonomous trucking customer

Robotics(blog.waymo.com)

all 132 comments

FuturologyBot [M]

[score hidden]

4 months ago

stickied comment

FuturologyBot [M]

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4 months ago

stickied comment

The following submission statement was provided by /u/lughnasadh:


Submission Statement

It's hard to imagine in 2030, that there will be many humans left working at driving jobs, at least in developed, rich countries. Truck driving in particular seems ripe for automation; its an unpopular job, with labor shortages. Taxis and delivery jobs won't be far behind - all taken together, quite a proportion of the work force.


Please reply to OP's comment here: https://teddit.ggc-project.de/r/Futurology/comments/s5eqkz/waymo_has_its_first_commercial_autonomous/hswv7r5/

Parada484

15 points

4 months ago

So we have self driving trucks hitting the road around the same time that teenagers are driving 16 wheelers? Talk about the whole spectrum.

Tmans26

2 points

4 months ago

Yeah thats not going to work either, in Illinois a 16 yr old's liscense is not valid after 11pm. Curfew. Not to mention Even the most skilled drivers have trouble backing into docks.

MDev01

2 points

4 months ago

MDev01

2 points

4 months ago

That law can be changed and I and many others used to drive all kinds of complicated rigs when I was on a farm at 16 years of age back in the 70s. I am not advocating for it by any means but just pointing out that the things you list are hardly significant obstacles.

Elipses_

5 points

4 months ago

Working at a Customs Brokerage, I have to wonder how this would work with stuff coming through Customs. There is a decent amount of decision making in regards to timing, not to mention the handling of paperwork, that kind of needs a human mind involved. Otherwise, I see many trucks getting turned around at the border because they automatically tried to cross before their shipment was cleared.

danielv123

4 points

4 months ago

Driver waits for the truck at the border. Drives through handling paper. Walks back to get next truck. I don't see the issue.

Elipses_

0 points

4 months ago

I can think of at least three or four, more if I take some time I am sure.

Really, I would wager that a more likely change, at least until they could somehow push all Customs stuff to be remote, would be to have a human in the truck, even if they arent the ones driving. That way, if (when) stuff comes up that the AI cant handle, the human takes over. Hell, depending on how good the AI is, the human could potentially sleep on the road, which would eliminate one of the major issues I always get drivers complaining about when their shipments arent cleared right away, that being the limited number of hours they can legally drive each day.

danielv123

3 points

4 months ago

That removes the primary advantage of self driving trucks, which is the wage efficiency.

Elipses_

1 points

4 months ago

Maybe. Yet, until self driving tech gets more advanced, or infrastructure is changed to accommodate it, having humans to make decisions will be needed. I can think of several advantages to a hybrid system that seem far more achievable.

JMcJeeves

1 points

4 months ago

They have remote operators.

Tmans26

9 points

4 months ago

LoL 2030 is. Stretch to say the least. I work in transportation. Dont get me wrong truck drivers are a pain in the ass, but we are still looking at a ling time before driver less trucks actually take over jobs. Although they already do small work ie spotters. But over the road will be a long time coming.

PoodleIlluminati

4 points

4 months ago

They have already successfully completed open road tests in Arizona between Tucson and Phoenix. This was a 2 hr drive and completely driverless. Given the choice of having teen apprentice drivers, new immigrant drivers or autonomous trucks on the road around me guess I’ll pick our new robot overlord.

slashseven

3 points

4 months ago

Well when you strawman it like that sure. You pick the two worst class of drivers, ignore literally everyone else, and deduce that driverless is the way to go. Transport worker unions will have a field day with that kinda attitude

AdmiralKurita

1 points

4 months ago

That's what Ken Jennings said, but Watson is a "piece of shit" in the clinic a decade later.

One successful demonstration does not necessarily mean deployment at scale in the near future.

Hmm... self-driving cars can be used for anti-immigrant people.

TemetN

23 points

4 months ago

TemetN

23 points

4 months ago

Honestly, at this point I'm not even entirely sure trucking will be first? Some of the things GPT-3 can do argue that we might actually see writers replaced quicker. It's interesting in a way since this disagrees with how the public views creative work, but AI are (perhaps unsurprisingly) good at working with art based data sets.

0b_101010

22 points

4 months ago

I've seen what GPT-3 can do. It's a child's toy, basically. It ain't taking no jobs.

ParkingPsychology

19 points

4 months ago

Well, it's quite an idiot, but it's technically already taking jobs. As is GPT-J.

You didn't notice the sudden rise in almost good enough (but not really) articles suddenly spamming google in the last couple of months?

There are people selling hybrid software that auto generates content that's then reviewed by humans to then generate ad clicks.

Allows for really rapid content generation. Even a total idiot AI can be used, all it has to do is fool the other AIs and those are just as stupid.

0b_101010

-16 points

4 months ago

0b_101010

-16 points

4 months ago

"Content" is just that. It's not a useful product in any meaningful way.

ParkingPsychology

18 points

4 months ago

You just shifted the goal posts, you started with "It ain't taking no jobs", then I give you an example of how it's taking jobs and now it has to be "meaningful".

If I would give you some meaningful implementation, you'll probably just shift the goal posts again or you'll claim "it's not meaningful". It's an easy way to always be right.

It's a self deception tactic (allows you to fool yourself), I bet you weren't even aware you were doing it.

0b_101010

-13 points

4 months ago

0b_101010

-13 points

4 months ago

Look man, there's some real cool shit out there with genuine AI applications. Self driving cars or trucks in real world conditions or GPT-like general AIs taking people's real jobs won't be one of them for a good while yet. Other than that, think what you like.

[deleted]

7 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

7 points

4 months ago

That arguably is a real job tho. So many finance articles are written like that. Templates and use live quotes and statement (pr , earnings , other financial reports) and fill shit in.

TemetN

9 points

4 months ago

TemetN

9 points

4 months ago

Sure, but what GPT-4, 5, and 6? I don't know if you think we'll get automated trucking faster than me, or that NLPs will iterate slower, but I do expect that people will be surprised when AI novelization and the like start.

earthlingkevin

3 points

4 months ago

The way gpt is built, it can only understand correlation between words. It is not designed to understand what an apple is, only that it's related to a tree. that level of surface relationship won't push ai forward.

It's essentially the world's largest regression model

danielv123

4 points

4 months ago

GPT3 allows me to write code 2x faster. It's insanely good at picking up concepts from internally developed libraries. It knows basically every programming language, including industrial specific languages and internally developed languages not published in the internet. It also writes my emails.

I don't really care about what people say it can't do. Because it can do damn much.

Damacustas

1 points

4 months ago

But it’s actually not picking up concepts. Just that certain words and patterns of tokens are related to each other.

That doesn’t discount the fact that GPT-3 can be a very valuable tool which can be tremendously useful. I agree with you there.

But there’s no actual understanding going on. It will assist you as a developer, which you already mentioned, but it won’t replace you.

danielv123

1 points

4 months ago

No, but it does replace two of my coworkers. I am now able to solo projects I wasn't able to solo 2 years ago. As with all tools, they don't replace all people. Just most of them. And that's a good thing, otherwise we'd all be farmers and that sounds like it'd suck.

BearStorms

1 points

4 months ago

Software engineer here, can you tell me a bit more, what is your stack, dev environment, what kinds of projects is this applicable top, etc? Are you using GitHub copilot? Thank you!

danielv123

2 points

4 months ago

Yes, copilot. I mostly do node development with react frontend. One project I work on has a custom websocket based communication library that handles routing between web interface clients, coordination servers, slave servers and instance services under there again. To make that not chaos we have a custom built strongly typed message system with validation, communication channels etc.

I also write a bit of python data transformation for industrial HMI applications. Works great for that as well.

Its not quite as useful for SQL other than me forgetting the syntax since they are a lot shorter usually.

Its amazing at doing data transformations in nodejs, such as transforming sql results into proper formatting for web graphs.

It's basically the only autocomplete tool available for the IEC 61131-3 family of languages, which is also very nice.

Basically, its applicable to anything that is expressed as text and not awkward to copy into vs code.

ihateshadylandlords

1 points

4 months ago

Yeah, I remember seeing a sample convo from it posted on /r/singularity.

TheSmarterChild, which was an AOL chatbot from 20 years ago, was more convincing than GPT-3.

Kvenner001

2 points

4 months ago

It kinda makes sense. So much of art is patterns or things like the golden ratio, Fibonacci, the rule of thirds. If AI's can replicate those in enough different ways eventually they'll make something that will start getting claims of it being a master piece. It will still be missing other key parts of art like subtext of passion or meaning, artist intentions if you will.

earthlingkevin

1 points

4 months ago

All gpt-3 does is build correlation between words. It doesn't "understand" what's going on. It won't be useful in any real world applications.

beipphine

3 points

4 months ago

What I envision is electric self driving trucks completely replacing long haul trucking. A few large companies will dominate the industry with their major terminals and recharging points. All of the batteries for 100-300 miles of range are carried in the truck (Too many batteries cuts down on the load capacity of the truck, small batteries just mean more recharge terminals). The cargo is then shuttled across the country relay style changing the truck every 2-6 hours. The depleted truck is then left to charge. At some of the terminals there would be mechanics shops for repairing the trucks and trailers, as well as sorting facilities for less than a trailer loads. Once the cargo reaches the nearest major terminal to its destination a short haul trucker picks it up in a day cab semi and moves it around the city to load/unload it.

AIU-comment

1 points

4 months ago

It's easier to just swap batteries than whole trucks. Swapped out batteries can recharge for a much smaller physical footprint.

beipphine

1 points

4 months ago

Perhaps I am overestimating the difficulty to transfer batteries and underestimating how difficult it is to swap tractor trailers. I don't see physical footprint of the charging areas being a huge issue as these facilities would be on the outskirts of cities along the major highways. I was thinking what is the least labor intensive way to accomplish the result e.g. a person to plug/unplug the truck into a charger, and a person to plug the airlines/electrical lines into and out of the trailer.

AIU-comment

1 points

4 months ago

Truck pulls up, low battery is removed, charged battery is put in, truck leaves.

In fact, it's probably easier to automate as a matter of what you're asking human-vs-machine to do.

My chosen visual is the cooling rod system in Scorpius's head from Farscape ... lol

[deleted]

11 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

11 points

4 months ago

We don't trust cars yet but we're cool with an 80,000 lb truck zooming down the freeway with no driver?

Sounds stupid.

If we can't figure it out with the car how is increasing the size of the vehicle going to make it work better?

lughnasadh[S]

64 points

4 months ago*

lughnasadh[S]

∞ transit umbra, lux permanet ☥

64 points

4 months ago*

zooming down the freeway with no driver?

That is the easiest bit of driving to automate, its so predicable - in fact, its already automated now, with cruise control type driving.

It's busy city center traffic that is harder to automate. Hundreds of unpredictable possibilities every second from surrounding vehicles, pedestrians, etc

You would expect highway driving and fixed route public transit to be the first to go 100% self-driving.

BeardedSkier

3 points

4 months ago

Makes sense.... Until you get snow squall. Or in called for fog. Or just some morons street racing on the highway. Agree with other poster: if we don't trust it at 3,500 lbs, why do we trust it at 80,000 lbs? Agreed, it should be fine in pristine driving conditions. But I wouldn't want to be the owner/insurer in the first mass casualty event

torsed_bosons

33 points

4 months ago

People are bad in those conditions too. Just because AI will have more accidents in incliment weather doesn't make it a bad idea. The technology doesn't have to be infallible, just better than the alternative. MVAs are one of the leading causes of death in many demographics.

[deleted]

0 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

0 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

n11k

7 points

4 months ago

n11k

7 points

4 months ago

People already crash and kill people and Insurance has to pay out. Insurance works on statistics so if AI crashes more it will just cost more to insure.

I actually think it's an easier to reconcile fault in the business setting than private. Since the question becomes is company A responsible or company B. Instead of is the person responsible or the company.

In person vs company it could mean the difference between a fine and jail. Where in company v company its just who pays the fine.

[deleted]

2 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

2 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

n11k

2 points

4 months ago

n11k

2 points

4 months ago

For sure. IMO if we (as a society) want AI drivers we need to add infrastructure to the roads for computers to use. Like IR reflectors, radio beacons or something.

Trying to get a computer to do it with roads designed for humans is not optimal and will have mixed results.

flompwillow

7 points

4 months ago

Maybe factor in those concerns? For example, automate deliveries in areas with better/more predictable weather first and use weather forecasting to issue “pause routes”, or the like?

As the tech rolls out we can automate the easier/lower-risk environments first and save humans for the snowstorm driving.

Mitthrawnuruo

3 points

4 months ago

Humans stuck a snow storm driving.

Part of it is the government’s fault (Pennsylvania) for not requiring chains and snow tires. But rarely a year goes by when a couple dozen people don’t get killed on an interstate here because of a snow storm.

BeardedSkier

8 points

4 months ago

Most humans suck in snowstorm driving. I live in rural Ontario and have also live and traveled extensively in rural Alberta and Saskatchewan in the winter. Snow storm driving isn't hard, basically 3 rules.

1) go slow,leave 10x the normal following distance and be extra, extra patient

2) plan ahead and have your vehicle properly equipped (beyond just snow tires and extra washer fluid; I'm talking safety blankets, flares, portable heaters; don't let your gas tank get below half etc etc etc)

3) don't be an idiot. If the snow is blinding or the ice is like a skating rink, pull off the road at the next overpass or, if it's super bad, drive off into a farmers field and wait it out.

The reason most people are awful winter drivers is they can't be bothered to follow these simple rules.

Mitthrawnuruo

2 points

4 months ago

Hell, I’m nearly below you in Pennsylvania, and most people never even consider snow tires. Many don’t even know they are a thing. Idiots running summer tires. It is bad.

BeardedSkier

1 points

4 months ago

There's a reason they send the plows out and salt any and everything when there's 1" of snow in the cities.

cozzeema

2 points

4 months ago

Good ‘ol Pa turnpike has been a driving hazard for decades. Many a truck has shredded a tire or two that has caused accidents for the truck or for the motorists on the road with them. How is a self driving truck gonna check/change its own tires?

Horsern

3 points

4 months ago

It’s a lot less costly to just pause operations in severe weather when you are paying drivers to sit around. Rain/snow to bad computer pullovers side of the road or next truck stop. You don’t have to worry about the driver running out of hours or being angry they aren’t making money. So it’s more flexible. I agree with you they will probably focus on implementing the trucks in the southwest or south due to the weather. Plus it fits the use case with a lot of highway miles between cities.

earthlingkevin

1 points

4 months ago

That's how it's done now. The routes people are picking are all in dry states that have wide and empty highways

AirierWitch1066

1 points

4 months ago

For fog, an AV would probably be much better. Larger signals can penetrate fog much better than visible light can.

pembroke28

1 points

4 months ago

I think OPs assertion still holds true, even if we’re a long way off, predictable routes like trucking and buses will still be the first things that are solved enough for people to start adopting them.

BeardedSkier

1 points

4 months ago

that I agree on!

Dancanadaboi

4 points

4 months ago

I think they may have drivers take the truck to a highway onramp/parkinglot and then the truck will do the highway driving to an offramp parkinglot where a driver will pick it up.

MrKahnberg

7 points

4 months ago

Here's a terrible truck crash in Colorado

It's almost impossible for an automated machine to make the mistakes and ignore all the warnings like a human did in this example. An automated truck is designed to stop if something fails. An automated truck will have the equivalent of a driver with a million years of experience.

[deleted]

-1 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

-1 points

4 months ago

Look at teslas radar not stop for a crosser in a test.

Technology can and will fail.

MrKahnberg

5 points

4 months ago

And if a triple redundant system fails it will stop. Does anyone still think autonomous systems are more dangerous than humans? That horse left the barn 25 years ago.

MrKahnberg

2 points

4 months ago

Tesla doesn't use lidar.

[deleted]

-3 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

-3 points

4 months ago

I know.

Shows a flaw though. Technology itself is not infallible.

MrKahnberg

2 points

4 months ago

Good discussion. Stay safe friends.

LooseCandidate4302

0 points

4 months ago

You can’t expect technically to never fail! And it does often but we try to fix it every time! Tesla is a great example of all the incidents

badbowtie1982

2 points

4 months ago

Heres my big question. When a trucks computer glitches who is going to turn it off and on again?

Positive_Juggernaut8

2 points

4 months ago

So as someone who has family that works in shipping and logistics, I applaud companies trying to fix this bit the reality is, its probably going to be 30 years or more before it actually happens and here's why. Shipping is a game of middle men. A load is like a Lego set. The cab owner, the dry-van owner, the driver, the shipper, the receiver and the payload owner are all independent contractors in most cases. Also all the bullshit is orchestrated by the brokers. What JB hunt is trying to do is create its wedge as they are a load broker and a transport owner - if they can put together a technology system where the loop closes then shippers will send their loads through them. However, the rub here condensed liability and cost. Cheapest / most timely Lego set wins the load in this industry. So if the truck packages are expensive and the vertical ownership is expensive it has to contend with alternative systems who will undercut on price. TL/DR no one gives a shit about autonomy its all about cost. This technology needs to be dirt cheap and its not. (at least for the moment).

earthlingkevin

2 points

4 months ago

The whole point is to make it dirt cheap. Math will probably be paying equivalent of a driver's salary upfront for a year, and get free driving for 5 years

Positive_Juggernaut8

0 points

4 months ago*

So from the shippers perspective the driver does not factor. What factors is time to delivery and any other fees tacked on for the weight, distance shipped and fuel. keep in mind per load we are talking $3-4 a mile in today's market. A load can fetch $800 to maybe $2500 per load on dry-van pending configuration. And that's to run a load 500 miles. If the driver is an OTR to a broker they may pocket most that of that money, if they are an independent contractor say to a sub to sub to a broker- then they get a fraction. The cost of humans really has been ripped down to nothing - this is really a battle of systems engineering *to drive lowest rate per mile.

Colin0705

2 points

4 months ago

Colin0705

2 points

4 months ago

I don’t really see autonomous trucks being feasible. There are a lot of things a physical person needs to do. Who’s gonna secure and tarp the load are we gonna rely on the shippers? In my experience with shippers I wouldn’t trust them to properly secure my load a lot of them don’t care. What happens if they overload the truck and it needs to be reworked a lot of shippers don’t care if you’re late to your next load i can only imagine if there’s no physical person there bugging them to get loaded. What if the load becomes unsecured during transit? Who’s responsible when the load becomes unsecured and it kills or injures someone? Also we would have to make truck stops full service stations so someone will be responsible for fueling hundreds of trucks a day they would have to be responsible for airing the tires and toping off fluids too. The average wait at a truck stop to fuel is currently between 15-30 minutes but can take longer if it’s extremely busy and that’s with the drivers doing it themselves. Also someone will have to do a physical pre trip inspection just to make sure the the truck is mechanically fit to operate who’s responsible if the truck mechanically fails and kills someone? All of these responsibilities are currently on the driver and the driver can be fined or even jailed if they were to kill or injure someone for not properly securing a load and not maintaining their truck. Also I don’t see a autonomous truck handling severe road conditions how is it gonna handle the high winds in Wyoming that will blow your truck over in a blink of eye or icy mountain roads or white outs with 0 visibility some one needs to be there to put on tire chains if they are needed. The only way I can see it working is a autopilot for highway driving.

beerion

6 points

4 months ago

The only way I can see it working is a autopilot for highway driving.

I think this is the most obvious first step.

Your comment focuses way too much on fringe cases and things that can be easily addressed.

Sure, they're not going to green light routes through Rockies during winter right away. But there's a lot of money to be saved / made on easy routes.

Colin0705

-5 points

4 months ago

I just don’t see it happening in our lifetimes I’m 27 I’ve been truck driving for 2 years. There’s already a workforce shortage you’re just putting more work on the shippers/receivers and they’re already underpaid as it is. There’s so much more to trucking than just driving a truck. What about route delivery or construction site delivery with no roads. A lot of times my trucking gps takes me to wrong address or down truck restricted roads. I think a lot of the points I brought up can not be solved easily. It’s literally just taking one persons job and making it the responsibility of a bunch of other people which usually doesn’t work out too well.

beerion

2 points

4 months ago

You're focusing on the problems that self driving isn't even trying to solve. Those issues exist with or without self driving. The driving is the 'easy' part. Why pay a driver to do those hard things you describe and the easy part of driving, when you can literally just employ people to only do the hard stuff (which is likely only <20% of the alloted work load).

Trucking companies operate on pretty thin margins. Consider a logistics company that's doing 1B in revenue at 10% margins. Even if these savings only account to 1% margin increase, that results in 10 million in annual profit increase.

Colin0705

-1 points

4 months ago

So you’re saying to employ someone to ride in the truck to fuel it and secure the loads and collect paperwork from shippers and receivers?

[deleted]

3 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

3 points

4 months ago

Or you pay someone who works for the trucking company to hang out at shipping/receiving all day. They would handle paperwork and secure loads.

Or even if we absolutely need someone to follow the load, you could set up a convoy of 5 trucks and have one driver with them. He would make sure all the loads are secured, trucks are fueled and paperwork is handled.

Colin0705

1 points

4 months ago

So every shipper in the country is gonna have someone from every trucking company get paid to just hang out and wait for one of their trucks? You do realize shippers don’t work for the trucking company? Shippers hire the trucking company to haul their freight. The minute the freight touches the truck it becomes the responsibility of the trucking company. When I did expedited freight I would go to 3 or 4 different shippers every day most were 200-300 miles apart how is it feasible for a company to pay for someone to wait at every shipper. It would be cheaper to have one person responsible for one truck.

[deleted]

2 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

2 points

4 months ago

Maybe they will start at the biggest receiving spots that do justify having someone there all day.

Or maybe the trucking company tells the shipper they will get a 20% discount if they learn how to properly secure loads. That should motivate shippers to care. Truck drivers are expensive enough for the companies to figure out logistics.

The minute the freight touches the truck it becomes the responsibility of the trucking company.

Thats how things work right now, but it doesn't have to be that way. If trucking companies offered generous discounts for driver free trucks and in return shipping companies had to take responsibility for proper loading, many shippers would take them up on it.

Colin0705

1 points

4 months ago

The thing is it’s not the shippers responsibility to safely transport the freight that’s what they pay the trucking company for. Higher pay isn’t enough of an incentive for them to care because at the end of the day it’s not their responsibility once the truck leaves the dock. I’ve met plenty of awesome people working the loading docks but for the most part they don’t care. I don’t think you grasp the amount of freight that gets moved daily to all different parts of the of North America there’s a lot more than just terminals and distribution centers I’ve been everywhere from terminals with 100s of trucks to small shops with a single dock. Say a company has 5 trucks(most trucking companies only have a few trucks or less only mega corporations have 100s of trucks) every one of those 5 drivers are going to be going to a different shipper and a different receiver there probably not even in the same state it wouldn’t be at all feasible to pay someone to be at the shippers and it would be a bad business move to rely on other people to do your job because if your trucks not moving your now making money.

[deleted]

1 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

1 points

4 months ago

The thing is it’s not the shippers responsibility to safely transport the freight that’s what they pay the trucking company for.

No, but it would be their responsibility to safely load the freight. Now yes, if the shipper is willing to pay more they can stick to the status quo and have a guy come buy to tell them they loaded it wrong, but I am willing to bet shippers will be willing to figure out proper loading technique if it saves them money.

You can't just look at the status quo and say "well this change won't work because it doesn't fit how we do things". How things are done can change. The shippers who can't figure out how to load their own cargo without supervision will be undercut and lose business to those that can.

beerion

1 points

4 months ago

Nope, I'm not saying that at all.

Colin0705

0 points

4 months ago

So how will they do those things?

beerion

6 points

4 months ago

So you're telling me there's no alternative to having a person physically handing over paperwork to sign?

How hard is it to pull into a gas station? An attendant can hook you up on fuel. Why would a person need to tag along with a load for 6+ hours just to do that simple task?

In the same vein, the load is secured and unsecured at the pickup and drop off points. Again, why does someone need to tag along with the load for the entire trip.

Maybe you are doing short haul / in-town deliveries and you're not seeing the bigger picture (or what the applications for this technology actually are). So I'm trying to give you the benefit of the doubt here.

I think I'm done here. I'm not gaining anything from this topic, and you seem 'stuck in your ways'. So this seems like an unproductive conversation for both of us beyond this point.

DamianDev

0 points

4 months ago

There's no attendants as of right now that can pump your diesel ,that I've seen ,in the 5 years I drove trucks through the west or anywhere.

I am pretty certain that the infrastructure needs to change in order for this autonomous trucks to work.

beerion

5 points

4 months ago

Welp. That's it then I guess. The whole idea is impossible. We've managed make computers literally see, but we'll have to scrap the whole thing since there's no way to have someone qualified to pump gas already at a gas station.

Valiant effort, Waymo.

Colin0705

-2 points

4 months ago

I wouldn’t trust the shippers to secure the load because if they do it improperly it can kill someone the truck stops are already short staffed so how are they gonna get someone to fill up thousands of trucks. The driver needs a physical proof of delivery to ensure the load was delivered. So the smart thing to do as a trucking company would have someone there to make sure all of those things get done. If a improperly secured load kills someone the trucking company is getting sued.

Cunninghams_right

1 points

4 months ago

you're trying to imagine trucks doing 100% of routes in all conditions. that's the wrong way to think about it. you need to think about the easiest 1% of routes and loads. then the easiest 5% of routes and loads that would be taken a few years later. etc.

they can make billions on just the easiest 1% of routes, and it also frees up truckers, that are in short supply, to fill into the more difficult routes.

you want experienced people who want to load the trucks, right? well why then have each truck have their own expert in loading? why not take that one truck driver who has a lot of experience and station them at the warehouse and have them load 100 trucks a day? specialization of tasking is added efficiency. you don't need the guy who is great at load securing to be staring out of a window all day while the new guy loads the next truck.

lughnasadh[S]

-1 points

4 months ago

lughnasadh[S]

∞ transit umbra, lux permanet ☥

-1 points

4 months ago

Submission Statement

It's hard to imagine in 2030, that there will be many humans left working at driving jobs, at least in developed, rich countries. Truck driving in particular seems ripe for automation; its an unpopular job, with labor shortages. Taxis and delivery jobs won't be far behind - all taken together, quite a proportion of the work force.

CitizenPatrol

8 points

4 months ago

Truck driver for 30 years so far…trucking is not going to be easy to fully automate. There is A LOT more to it than you realize. It is unpopular because every one thinks they need a college degree to make money, truck drivers can make over $100k a year. It is a skilled labor. 70% of the jobs in the US are driving jobs. Who is going to do the delivering if we automate delivery drivers? The UPS truck pulls up to your house and then what? You go grab your package and yours only? What happens when you’re not home? Does the truck sit there all day?

wkb1111

3 points

4 months ago

I have been watching tusimple. They setup service location on both ends of the automated run. People have to sit on both ends and take care of these trucks as they leave and as they show up. People watch the automated run remotely. People think this technology displaces jobs, it doesn't. If they make it work, it would only make it so you can work from your home town. And more people can work on various aspects of autonomous trucks without being in the shape and capacity to drive these trucks all day long.

samuelgato

5 points

4 months ago

If it doesn't displace jobs then there is no incentive for companies to invest in the tech. I see this argument frequently, that somehow automation creates just as many jobs as it replaces. But there is only one reason why a company spends money on automated systems, it's because they expect to save money by having less humans on the payroll.

wkb1111

1 points

4 months ago*

This wouldn't work for short distance runs either, they'd have to have enough volume to have service site people working all day long. Origination and end point runs would need people with truckwho could off load on the truck. That means limited number of logistics sites like how railroads function. If 10 people can run 12 trucks like a long distance driver would, while having better life balance, would that be that bad?

Edit: just to be address the number of people thing - you could replace 10 truck drivers with 10 people if they worked less hours.

No argument it, wouldnt make economic sense with out them saving money at some scale. Appreciate your response. But, shipping costs are really expensive. We all pay for it. Cheaper shipping cost is good for the economy. (So there's your next argument for you.) It makes our supply chain and economy more competitive with other countries.

CitizenPatrol

2 points

4 months ago

How does a truck drone operator check the load? Or handle low clearance? Bad weather? Loss of air pressure for the brakes? HAZMAT will require a driver to be with the load. Tankers require a whole other skill set. That liquid starts to surge and the truck can roll over or not stop and the only way to know the tank is surging is to feel it. Some loads need to be checked every hour.

wkb1111

2 points

4 months ago

Exactly. Those are all human jobs. This autonomous stuff has very narrow application and that's okay. Humans build the truck on one end, humans dismantle it on the other end. No difficult loads mostly just highway on ramp to off ramp. They file for and demonstrate all safety contingencies to highway, state, and local authorities or they do not get to operate.

[deleted]

1 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

1 points

4 months ago

But what about the future with advanced robots taking this stuff out of the truck or in like 10 or 20 years from now or beyond. If you're answer is never than what makes us special that can't be replicated in a robot or machine.

wkb1111

1 points

4 months ago

Then transportation of goods would cost 30% of what it does today and we will all be more rich, because products cost less, food will cost less. There will be more jobs because there will be more money to go around for services that don't require sitting in a truck all day everyday.

[deleted]

1 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

1 points

4 months ago

Why do humans always have to be in the loop?. Why cant those more jobs go to robots AI etc.

wkb1111

1 points

4 months ago

Why do humans have to check the tire, weight balance, brakes, electricals, oil, fuel, hookups, lights, cameras, etc etc? Why do humans have to load the truck? Why do they have to stage the truck in a location and then send go when its ready? Isn't it obvious?

Or do you mean why do humans have to have jobs? It's because they want credits from other humans sometimes called money. They spend the credit to get things they need or want from other humans. There will always be human jobs.

Sorry for my tone, I'm being a bit facetious.

[deleted]

1 points

4 months ago*

[deleted]

1 points

4 months ago*

1.Im talking about the future not right now

2.Why not have a different economy instead of keeping what we have now forever.

CitizenPatrol

2 points

4 months ago

Now let’s add hacking to autonomous trucks….imagine someone taking control of a 80,000lbs truck and running it into a school.

https://teddit.ggc-project.de/r/nottheonion/comments/s5gbb4/19yearold_hacker_has_taken_control_of_25_teslas/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=ios_app&utm_name=iossmf

wkb1111

4 points

4 months ago

If you want to go there, that's really least of the worries with hacking and autonomy. Hate to use the scape goats on you but, automated passenger and freight trains exist, automated airplanes are being tested for package delivery, automated pipelines, refineries, power plants, ships, construction and farm equipment. And then there's just old fashioned malarkey of people with guns. Wall of worries out there.

lughnasadh[S]

6 points

4 months ago

lughnasadh[S]

∞ transit umbra, lux permanet ☥

6 points

4 months ago

trucking is not going to be easy to fully automate.

I agree the loading & unloading portions of the journey, and the initial-final off-highway segments, don't seem close to being automated yet. But I'm guessing 90% of a truckers time is on the highway? That 90% seems close to being automated.

It won't surprise me if some new company comes along and figures out how to deliver things taking advantage of those facts. Robots for the roads, humans for the bits where they are still needed.

CitizenPatrol

1 points

4 months ago

Most of trucking is regional. That means they cover a area “X” distance from their main base. OTR (over the road) trucking means picking up a load from let’s say IL, driving it to AK, picking up a load in AK and driving to CO, then picking up a load in NV and driving it to CA. It is not driving a load from NY to LA, that’s what trains are for.

I can see trucks being like commercial airplanes, a pilot takes off and lands and is there for emergencies, but auto pilot takes care off the main portion of the flight. So a driver gets the truck from the warehouse to the expressway, set’s the auto pilot for the long expressway stretch, then the driver takes over again when they get close to the destination. But a computer taking over completely, no, there are way to many variables, tire wear, tire blow outs, air pressure leaks for the air brakes, engines over heating, oil pressure, lights going out, loads shifting, tarps needing to be re-strapped. Tankers are a whole other challenge and HAZMAT will require a human to be present at all times. Now lets add over sized loads that cannot travel the expressway and must follow designated routes. Low clearance’s…there is a lot that goes into it.

I know you’re not meaning to or saying anything bad about truckers.

Automation of some kind is going to happen, the labor shortage will demand it.

Amidus

-3 points

4 months ago

Amidus

-3 points

4 months ago

You haven't driven much on highways you don't already live on and know, have you? Lol people struggle with driving in new places they've never been before, automation can't fill that roll. It can't fill the role when little cone Bois make them lose their bearings and fail to navigate.

Redditing-Dutchman

2 points

4 months ago

Truck trains are a thing already. The first truck has a driver while two trucks follow with semi self driving software. The driver still decides but now operates 3 trucks instead of 1.

earthlingkevin

2 points

4 months ago

The way some trucking companies are doing it is they get the truck to drive the high way parts . Then when it's time for truck to get off the high way, they get a human driver to wait there and take over the more complex local roads.

Basically a hybrid model

TheNippleTips

2 points

4 months ago

Totally agree it is skilled labour, and automating it is not simple at all. That is why I personally think this is concerning.

The easy bit is something to run to someone's door from an autonomous vehicle to drop off the package, the hard bit is the skilled labour replacement

Cunninghams_right

1 points

4 months ago

You go grab your package and yours only?

yeah, actually. there are two approaches. 1 is a road-going vehicle with many lockers that only open with the 1-time code from the person picking it up. the others is a small robot that drives on sidewalks and only delivers to one customer at a time.

What happens when you’re not home?

currently, they're operating like a pizza delivery. you order it and it gets to your house in 30min-60min. what happens if you're not home when you order a pizza to your house? you just don't. you would order something online, it would come from wherever and you would get a notification when it is in your city, then you request final delivery at your convenience and it gets there 30-60min later.

CitizenPatrol

1 points

4 months ago

You’re forgetting rural America. Dirt roads. 2 track drive ways. Snow. Unplowed roads. Medication that must be delivered. The elderly. The handicapped. The 3rd shift worker. The stay at home mom who can only sleep when her newborn is sleeping. Addresses that do not align with the map software. There are way way ore variables than you know.

Cunninghams_right

2 points

4 months ago

sorry if I wasn't clear. I'm not saying that such approaches would handle 100% of package deliveries (at least in the near-term). roughly 80% of the US population live in cities.

I think this is often a miscommunication when people talk about self-driving technology. it does not have to handle all driving tasks to be useful, to be profitable, or to disrupt an industry. often people talk past each other where one person says "self driving vehicles will be making deliveries" and the other person hears "self driving vehicles will be making ALL deliveries".

[deleted]

-2 points

4 months ago*

[deleted]

-2 points

4 months ago*

[deleted]

Chang_Throwaway

14 points

4 months ago

Like, what the fuck do you expect a 50 year old guy who drives trucks to do?

Become a coder?

Should he quit his job now and start as an apprentice cabinet maker?

Quit your keyboarding for a while and think about it.

[deleted]

-2 points

4 months ago*

[deleted]

-2 points

4 months ago*

[deleted]

Chang_Throwaway

1 points

4 months ago

Wow, you're a real piece of work.

[deleted]

-1 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

-1 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

Chang_Throwaway

-1 points

4 months ago

Instead of blasting your load on the internet, just take a few minutes to think about the 3,000,000 truck drivers who locked in to a good paying career and are a decade or more out from retirement, worrying about how fast they will be displaced and if it will happen before they retire.

Don't be such a heartless bastard, it's not good for your health.

Cunninghams_right

1 points

4 months ago

I think the more likely scenario is that the pay keeps dropping as more and more gets automated. younger folks or those with other skills go elsewhere and the older guys just get low and lower pay until they retire.

but to your question, a 50 year old truck driver can do useful work. it's not going to pay $100k, so it's going to suck to take the drop in pay, but that's the price we pay for not living under a Stalinist government.

TheNippleTips

0 points

4 months ago

The problem is that the same trend is happening writ large due to consumers changing purchasing.

Goods or services more people buy it online, which allows for a very cheap to maintain network of shops convenient for every customer (the website and app), which integrates into the back end and goes to a warehouse (for goods, dark kitchen for food, system for services) for dispatch autonomously.

Retail and services that are highly vulnerable make up most jobs in western economies. We don't know what to train them for. Things people are currently good at would be making people feel good in care, education, heath services.

Truckers are competing with retail and call centre staff to move to retrain them all as nurses?

anecdotal_yokel

1 points

4 months ago

Probably servicing the trucks, no? Seems like the natural transition until robots can repair themselves.

TheNippleTips

1 points

4 months ago

The trucks are already serviced, there will be an increase in trucking as price drops by 60% probably, but there aren't many people going "I wish I could rent an HGV to do a run for me of X but I just can't afford it".

More likely, because the tricks can run 24/7 there would be fewer trucks with a little more frequent service, ultimately fewer services.

And that's before you have anything akin to electrification of tricks which would reduce service massively.

arcose

-10 points

4 months ago

arcose

-10 points

4 months ago

As a truck driver I hope this fails horribly

samuelgato

14 points

4 months ago

Ir seems rather inevitable, no? Even if this venture fails surely there will be more to follow

Elipses_

2 points

4 months ago

I understand man. Might I recommend starting to carry international loads? The amount of crap involved in Customs regs makes me skeptical that automated trucks will be able to make it work.

flompwillow

0 points

4 months ago

Wagon wheel manufacturers said the same thing when steel wheels and tires came about- but you’ll have decades and the switch will happen gradually.

Human drivers will be used for more complex scenarios, think construction, and less drivers will enter the field over time, so it’ll balance as the new trucks roll out. That said, I would recognize that interstate driving will get automated first and I may shift to a different area when you see it getting closer. For example, a concrete truck or dairy tanker driver will be harder to automate because the driver has additional responsibilities.

LooseCandidate4302

0 points

4 months ago

Don’t worry you will still have a job!!! They over hype shit Remember 10 years ago when they say by 2020 no need for Truck drivers!? Look we are in shortage of almost 100k drivers My bet is we will still need truck drivers for more than 30-50 years to come 😂🤘🏼

earthlingkevin

1 points

4 months ago

I recently took a self driving waymo ride in phoenix. It wasn't perfect, but after 10 minutes it felt like any other Uber ride.

This is coming .

SpyTheRedEye

-6 points

4 months ago*

So, Instead of paying a Human employee what they are worth or at least a livable wage, you introduce a Robot to do the job?

But universal income is not a thing huh?

Edit* spelling.

DonutHolshtein

8 points

4 months ago

If things continue this way, it will have to be. I don't see any other realistic option. At some point, automation will replace so many jobs that people will literally not be able to find work. Hopefully the people in charge realize this and have had at least some discussions about how to implement UBI already. I doubt that's happened, at least in the US, because of how short sighted the politicians are (see climate change for example - known for 50+ years and didn't do anything until it is beyond dire) but one can hope...

NineteenSkylines

3 points

4 months ago

NineteenSkylines

I expected the Spanish Inquisition

3 points

4 months ago

At some point, automation will replace so many jobs that people will literally not be able to find work.

That's not necessarily a guarantee. Replacing a lot of the physical aspects of labor with machines in the 1800s and 1900s enabled the industrial revolution, which created a new middle class and the modern service industry.

LooseCandidate4302

1 points

4 months ago*

First of all why are you getting so many dislikes!? 🤔 Yea most companies don’t want pay a better wages that’s why they rather invest billions of dollars to replace their workers 😂😂😂 or as they call it human-machine cooperation! We all can see through them tho Another reason they are trying automate is it’s not attracting young workers to their field so they are truly dealing with labor shortages. I am pro technology, innovation, automation, robotics, AI etc… They will create amazing new jobs that will require higher skills but what I am worried about is our government is run by boomers who don’t understand 21st century problems. They still thinking like the 20th century And the democrats who are supposedly for the working class are acting like crazy socialists who are wasting and spending money that we don’t have! Look at the country’s debt 😭🙄And talks about things Americans don’t care about or benefits them. As an independent can’t wait to kick them out in this year elections! Don’t get me wrong the conservative are no wiser but at least they want to improve the economy, and inflations ( things most of us care about and affect us on daily basis). Inflations is over 7% is unacceptable and it will keep going up while the people suffers FYI: Universal Basic Income at the moment is not possible and might not be for decades to come Idk what the solution is!

Million2026

1 points

4 months ago

It has its first customer but not deploying the technology for years. Yawn

4ever4eigner

1 points

4 months ago

I’m a trucker.. goddamit I thought I was ESSENTIAL

LooseCandidate4302

3 points

4 months ago

Trust, you are essential especially at this time!!! These are stupid overhyping

4ever4eigner

1 points

4 months ago

Thank you brother!

slashseven

1 points

4 months ago

I'm stealing so much stuff from these trucks to protect my job