Thursday, April 28, 2016

Robo Trucking Could Be Even Less Fun?

http://www.wired.com/2016/04/autonomous-tech-make-driving-semi-trucks-even-less-fun/
My response to the article above:

The trucking industry has a problem finding and retaining quality drivers because it is a lifestyle, not a job. At some point in the recent past, technology was integrated into trucks to help large companies track their drivers, and to micro manage the industry (sound familiar?), and many professional drivers don't like to spend weeks away from friends and family while being micro managed and treated like an emotionless robot while they are doing the brunt of the work for the mega carriers. Drivers are confined to trucks, but the one joy of working in the industry is getting to be in control of the large rig, to feel the power of the engine while rhythmically moving through eighteen gears with the precision of a classical musician.

 The toughest parts of the job include not being able to even have a cold beer after a long day of driving, and making split second decisions to avoid distracted four wheelers.   Most of the mega carrier companies own the drivers 24-7, and the profession can be terribly confining.

The Elogs and Hours of Service have been imposed on professional drivers, and to make any money in the industry, most drivers lives revolve around eat, sleep, and paperwork.   

The Simpsons had an episode showing driverless trucks, and it was highly amusing.   The video below shows a driverless truck test in Nevada.
 I think taking the actual driving out of the profession would only it more mundane, and highly controlled by the micro managers reaping all the profits in the home office.  
The Wired writer of the article above should have spent some time interviewing actual drivers, and talking to them about their thoughts on the industry.  In its current state, the drivers need to go on strike, and shut down the trucks driven by hard working men and women, to show the public how dependent our society is on trucking. Driverless trucks are a non issue, as this industry needs less technology, and micromanaging, but even I know this will only happen if truckers take drastic steps to achieve the levels of freedom and independence this industry once enjoyed.  I don't think the next great American novel will be written behind the wheel of a driverless truck, but the trucking industry would make a great topic for a nonfiction book on the way workers in this country are being made into indentured servants providing profits to the one percent...the one percent only interested in exploiting other to turn a profit, and avoiding taxes on their millions. 
For independent drivers....keep on trucking and safe travels.  Appreciate ya! 10-4, over and out.