Autonomous Trucking Technologies Gain Steam


Autonomous technologies are advancing rapidly, and traditional equipment manufacturers as well as new players en­tering the market are working to bring new capabilities to equipment that could improve safety and pro­ductivity. Most of the major Class 8 manufacturers, including Paccar, Daimler and Volvo, as well as new­er companies, such as Waymo and Otto, are testing autonomous tech­nology that could be used to create self-driving vehicles.

“This technology is moving much faster than any of us an­ticipated. There is no doubt,” said Bob Costello, chief economist at American Trucking Associations and a keynote speaker at The NATSO Show 2017.

(Want more on this topic? NATSO has planned a keynote on the future of autonomous and
electrical trucks during NATSO Connect. NATSO Connect 2018 will be held February 10-13 in Nashville, Tennessee. American Trucking Associations’ Chairman and President of TCW Inc. Dave Manning, NATSO CEO and President Lisa Mullings and Dean Newell, VP, Safety and Training, Maverick Transportation, LLC will discuss how quickly these trucks will arrive and the possible impacts on the trucking and truckstop industries. For more information on the conference and the keynote, visit or contact Amy Toner at (703) 739-8570.) 

What About the Driver?
The American Transportation Re­search Institute has identified signifi­cant safety and productivity benefits that may result from autonomous technology adoption, but those with­in the industry said it is likely that drivers will remain a critical link in the supply chain for quite some time. Drivers play a critical role for carriers, such as interacting with customers on both pick-ups and deliveries. Plus, for safety reasons the public may in­sist that automated vehicles may have a driver present to take over in any unexpected or difficult situations...


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Mindy Long's photo

Before launching a full-time freelance career, Long edited NATSO's Stop Watch magazine. Prior to that Long worked as a staff reporter for Transport Topics, a weekly trade newspaper, covering freight transportation, fuel and environmental issues. In addition to covering the transportation sector, Long has written, reported and edited for a variety of media outlets. She was the Washington correspondent for WCAX-TV (CBS) in Burlington, Vt., a criminal court reporter in Chicago and a freelance copy editor for Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine in Washington D.C. Long hold a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism in Evanston, Ill., and a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Westminster College in Salt Lake City.More
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