Pros And Cons Of Uber Trucking

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Pros And Cons Of Uber Trucking

December 28, 2016

If you live in a larger city and hail taxi cabs, you have no doubt heard of Uber. The company is well-known for its ride-sharing app that connects drivers and riders, and often costs less than traditional cab rides. Recently, the company announced Uber Freight or Uber trucking. While the details are sketchy for the company’s new venture, it’s clear the technology direction is focused on self-driving trucks.

Purchase of Otto

Uber recently acquired Otto, a new technology company with plans and development of self-driving kits for semi-trucks. Otto has already tested the trucks by delivering Christmas trees and beer in the San Francisco area, without incident. Uber plans to use drivers for the time being, and it will be similar to its current ride-sharing app. Drivers will respond to the app for long and short driving hauls.

The future of Uber trucking will no doubt include more autonomous deliveries as the technology improves. This poses some questions, excitements, and concerns over replacing truck drivers with trucks that do not need drivers. It also raises several pros and cons to such an undertaking.

Pros of Uber Freight

Just like the self-driving cars, self-driving trucks come with a host of advantages.

Because of the sensors the trucks are equipped with, it would mean less traffic jams. This of course would make deliveries faster since many truck drivers spend a lot of time sitting in traffic, especially in larger metropolitan areas. This, of course, leads to less pollution, which is yet another advantage of Uber trucking.

A self-driving truck is equipped with smart software as well as special sensors, which ultimately should lead to fewer traffic accidents. This would save trucking companies a great deal of money because tractor loads are often totally or partially destroyed during an accident. Even if the contents of the tractor are not damaged, accidents result in a lot of downtime.

Because self-driven trucks don’t need drivers, the semi-trucks are able to operate during the day or night. Moreover, for long distance driving, the trucks would only need to stop for refueling. Even the most experienced truck drivers have to stop and sleep for safety reasons.

Many trucking companies would save a great deal of money with autonomous trucks on the road since there wouldn’t be a need to pay drivers or contractors to haul loads.

Cons of Uber trucking

One of the biggest disadvantages to self-driving trucks is the implementation with other vehicles and trucks on the road that are driven by people. The software and sensors are very useful in avoiding traffic accidents and sitting in traffic jams, but there are more people-driven trucks and cars, which can outweigh the benefits in many ways.

Another con or what could ultimately be a huge expense is laws and rules governing autonomous trucking vs. the current laws for human driven semi-trucks. This alone could be an undertaking that may delay self-driven trucks for many years, especially when it comes to long hauls.

The biggest disadvantage to autonomous trucks is the possibility of software failure or hacking. Technology has come a long way in a short amount of time, but software failures and hacking still pose problems. The concern over self-driven trucks on the roadways with a software failure is the possibility of causing serious accidents.

Lastly, if drivers are replaced with self-driven deliveries, what would this mean to the industry? Many people have long careers as truckers and the threat of not having a job in the future raises a lot of concern. It would literally change the entire industry.

The launch of Uber trucking raises some important questions and concerns as the company seeks to further develop Otto’s technology.

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