Trucks Of The Future Will Take Some Decision Making Away From Drivers


Photo Credit: Jules Clifford/NATSO

Advances in technology are changing everything from how we interact with friends and family to products we buy. Technology is also bringing significant changes to Class 8 trucks, and the trucks of the future are likely to use autonomous technologies, such as adaptive cruise control systems, self-steering technology and vehicle-to-vehicle communication. Those advances will take decisions out of the hands of drivers and leave them to the vehicle and could, potentially, make driverless trucks a thing of the future.

Autonomous and semi-autonomous trucks will also bring changes to the truckstop and travel plaza industry, but Darren Schulte, vice president of membership for NATSO, said they have the potential to create opportunities operators haven’t yet considered, particularly within the shop and food-service areas.

“I am a strong proponent of knowing your customer—and not just who your customer is today but also who they might be tomorrow. By understanding how customers are changing and how their industry is changing, truckstop and travel plaza operators can prepare for their future needs,” Schulte said.

The Technology
Steven Shladover, a research engineer at the University of California, Berkeley, said most of the major manufacturers are already testing...

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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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