Troy Clarke, Navistar’s president, and CEO testified recently before the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee last week, telling a Senate panel that self-driving trucks won’t eliminate the need for truck drivers, but they may be required to master new skills.
Clarke encouraged the lawmakers to include the commercial trucking industry in legislation to develop rules for autonomous vehicles. The trucking industry has already developed vehicle-to-vehicle systems that will enable truckers to talk to each other to help avoid accidents and enhance safety.
Earlier this month, the U.S. House passed a measure designed to prevent states from blocking self-driving vehicles and to create federal standards to allow autonomous vehicles to enter the market more quickly, paving the way for as many as 100,000 cars to be exempted from safety standards during the testing phase, although the House bill did not address autonomous trucks.
But not everyone in the legislature is on board with rules for autonomous trucks. Ken Hall, general secretary-treasurer of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, suggested at the session that it might be too early to allow for widespread testing of autonomous commercial vehicles across the country, stating that the Senate consider all the potential pitfalls, including employment and safety.” needs to “
Self-Driving Trucks: Fleet of the Future?
On May 6, 2015, the first self-driving semi-truck took to the American roads in the state of Nevada. A global study conducted by the consulting firm PTOLEMUS predicted that by 2030, there will likely be 380 million self-driving vehicles on the roads. These self-driving vehicles are hoped to reduce the incidence of accidents by as much as 30 percent.