After a difficult two years for the trucking industry, the US Freight Transportation Forecast for 2022 predicted a 24% spike that would result in a 66% increase in revenue. But whether these predictions prove correct depends largely on the success of the technological revolution that seems to be sweeping across the sector.
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Autonomous Trucking Technology Set to Ramp Up
Long haul trucking has been an in-person-dominated profession for decades. For the most part, it has been a difficult, exhausting job for those sitting behind the wheel. Many trucking manufacturers have been working hard to improve the autonomous driving technology that long-haul trucks utilize to ease the burden on drivers that transport goods across the country. Apart from trucks, self-driving technology has been on the rise in 2022, as there are currently around 1500 autonomous vehicles on United States roads.
Tesla Enters The Equation
Elon Musk and his innovative automotive company Tesla have been working hard to enter the trucking industry and implement self-driving technologies in larger vehicles. Tesla has recently developed their own long-haul truck known as the Semi, which is set to launch sometime in 2022.
All these developments in the trucking industry have led experts to predict that in the next few years, autonomous vehicles or those with autonomous driving features will dominate 90% of the long-haul trucking industry. There have been concerns that autonomous vehicles will put truck driver’s jobs in jeopardy, but considering the massive driver shortage already underway, this should not pose a problem. It may even relieve some of the pressure on drivers and logistics companies.
Improving On Current Trucking Options
Privately-owned road trucks have been an American staple for many decades now and the trend does not seem to be slowing down any time soon. Many owner-operator trucking businesses rely on these vehicles and the addition of autonomous features would only improve their appeal. Dually trucks, in particular, have been extremely popular due to their ability to tow and carry larger loads. The construction and trucking industry has long made use of the benefits provided by dually trucks that many other trucks simply do not offer. A dually truck is simply a truck that has dual rear wheels on either side. This gives it additional stability that ensures it copes better with heavy loads and rougher terrain.
The Battle to Create the Best Electric Road Truck
Alongside the developments surrounding self-driving long-haul trucks, Ford and Tesla have been competing on the road truck front. Both the automakers have announced that they’ll release electric trucks in mid-2022.
Tesla has recently opened up factories in Europe and a Gigafactory in Texas to ramp up production over the next few years. Ford, on the other hand, has production covered and is set to release its latest electric truck, the F-150 to compete with Elon Musk’s titan company.
As President Joe Biden recently said, truckers keep America moving, and he wants more back on the road. The introduction of more eclectic and autonomous trucks could very well give Biden – and America – exactly what it wants.