A few comments on driverless trucks and cars

Personally, I don’t buy into the current hysteria of automation in areas which humans once worked out cause mass unemployment in the long run. One of these areas which seems to be on the chopping block of automation are cars and trucks. In many ways this is a great development which is needed.

Currently, driverless cars are being tested by a number of tech companies such as Tesla, Google, and Uber. Thought a few fatal accidents have happened, the technology seems to be progressing smoothly and such technology seem like a reality in the near future.

One of the key reasons for automation is to allow humans to embark on other task. With driverless cars, when people are on daily commutes to work they can have the ability to attend to office task such as checking messages and handling other office documents before arriving so upon arrival they can hit the main task for the day. Or, if a driver feels tired on a long trip, rather than consuming caffeinated drinks and struggling to stay awake, the autopilot can take over till the driver gains more energy and a sufficient attention span.

The case of the trucking industry is interesting and in many ways defies the logic of luddites. Rather than causing mass unemployment of truck drivers, driverless trucks would be very much welcome because the industry currently has a driver shortage in excess of 30000. This would bring efficiency gains and make an industry which is currently going through great difficulty more efficient.

The development of driverless cars and trucks are examples of automation making life easier for humans and increasing efficiency. These two development should be enthusiastically welcome as they promise to make life easier for humans and allow us to focus on other things.