Self-Driving Trucks Coming, Yes, but Fear Surrounds Them Presently

A recent national news report notes that many veteran truck drivers in Indiana and nationally will likely end up retiring before they see radical tech-related change occurring in their industry. Most of those individuals seem just fine with that.

In fact, many of them wouldn't want it any other way. Their comments clearly reflect widespread concerns about next-generation technologies linked with self-driving rigs.

The cited USA Today article collectively paints seasoned commercial truckers and industry executives as an open-minded and resigned group that sees the writing on the wall regarding autonomous vehicles. They largely seem to accept that radical new changes are approaching on America's roadway landscape.

At the same time, though, they're in no hurry to see those changes play out on roads and interstates across the country.

Most of their stated concerns focus squarely on safety.

"Can it [a self-driving truck] really distinguish between a deer and a child and always make the right call?" queries one veteran trucker.

The new technology is exciting, says one industry analyst, "but no one thinks it'll solve everything."

The bottom-line concern of legions of experienced truckers simply stems from a simple belief that technological processes can never replace the quick instincts and hard-earned insights of veteran drivers. They worry about employing software programs rather than human reasoning to handle monstrously large and heavy vehicles in constantly changing environments and conditions.

Their concerns certainly seem logical. Crash avoidance and improved safety outcomes must be the overriding concern of developers and regulators as passenger drivers move ever closer to the time when they are routinely sharing road space with self-driving commercial trucks.