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