The idea of self-driving cars has been around for a couple of years, but now the idea of self-driving trucks, or tractor-trailers is the big thing. All different truck companies have been testing their self-driving trucks, although there are still technical problems that have not been overcome yet, companies are still trying to make them happen because they claim they are safer and cheaper.
The technical obstacles of a self-driving truck seems to be even more that of the self-driving cars that have already been made. The problem begins with the truck needing to have the same situational awareness that professional truck drivers have when on the road. The main technology company on this job, Otto, is still working out the kinks of its supercomputer that is put in the trucks, this computer the size of a breadbox, which is claimed to have the most computing muscle in such a small package. Even with all this technological advances, the first test run still showed how much farther it needs to go, the truck couldn’t navigate through small roads, only on the highway. So the driver needed to get the truck on the highway. And there is still always a professional driver ready to take over if things go wrong.
There are many advantages to having self-driving trucks. On an economic standpoint, self-driving trucks can coordinate their movements to platoon together to block out wind and saving fuel, this also would help drivers complete their route quickly if they are not constantly driving. Even safety could improve, but the loss of jobs could be a problem. As long as the trucks still need a driver with them, but that may not be the case for long.