A truck that can drive itself can keep moving 24 hours/day. And cut labor costs by up to 75%.
Fewer driver breaks, lowered fuel costs from optimized cruising speeds and "drafting" of trucks behind one another in convoys, plus lowered insurance costs all sound like they'll increase efficiency and decrease cost of goods to end consumers, too.
In fact, Ryan Petersen's article "The driverless truck is coming, and it’s going to automate millions of jobs", states:
"That means the technology would effectively double the output of the U.S. transportation network at 25 percent of the cost."
All good, right?
Well, not so fast unfortunately. Truck driving is the most common job in 29 different US states...
"The loss of jobs representing 1 percent of the U.S. workforce will be a devastating blow to the economy. And the adverse consequences won’t end there. Gas stations, highway diners, rest stops, motels and other businesses catering to drivers will struggle to survive without them."
This is not good news. But a "400 percent price-performance improvement in ground transportation networks" is going to be hard to resist or deny.
Regulators and politicians, are you listening? Better get ahead of these issues to help smooth the way.