A jaw-dropping segment that appeared on the news program ’60 Minutes’ predicts that autonomous technology will begin to disrupt the trucking industry by next year.
The 13 minute segment gives viewers an overview of the major players in the driverless truck technology race and looks at some of the possible consequences of the wide-spread deployment of the new tech.
In one of the most startling revelations in the video segment, TuSimple chief product officer Chuck Price predicted that his company would have driverless trucks with no human backup driver on U.S. roadways by 2021. Currently, many startups are operating driverless tech on public roads, but a safety driver remains on board during testing operations in case of emergency.
Price also says that TuSimple trucks can drive themselves under most any condition. “Day, night. And in the rain. And in the rain at night,” he said.
The segment also examines how driverless truck technology stands to decimate the livelihoods of millions of Americans who make their living behind the wheel.
The 60 Minutes segment brings up several possible problems with driverless truck technology including computer glitches, how the truck might respond to a police officer directing traffic, and the lack of awareness by the general public that driverless truck technology is being deployed on public roads. The segment also suggests that there may not be sufficient oversight of the autonomous trucking industry.
The segment points to some advantages to driverless trucks ranging from increased fuel efficiency to the possibility of increased highway safety due to the fact that there is no chance of distracted or impaired driving.
You can check out the segment below.