It sure is amazing times we live in. Uber, the “ride sharing” company that has a stranger bring you home drunk from the bar with the push of a button is now getting into self-driving vehicles. They recently launched a fleet of self-driving cars in Pittsburgh and now they acquired a company named Otto that makes driverless freight trucks. They aim to have a fleet of 15 big rigs with nobody touching the steering wheel to make deliveries to stores and warehouses!
Uber purchases the autonomous truck company for $680 million and aims to launch an Uber long haul trucking company in 2017. So if your shipment of cases of beer can’t drive and needs a ride to the bar, it is all taken care of.
The Uber Otto trucks will be equipped with lasers, sensors, software and cameras to allow the trucks to drive on their own. However, for now there will still be a human “driver” onboard to take control should anything go wrong. In addition the autopilot will only be used on the highways while the human takes control in city driving. In other words, the highway is nap time!
While some have concerns that this new disruptive technology will have a serious impact on labor, potentially putting thousands of truck drivers and those in supportive services out of work, others fear an even greater threat. Has Uber never watched Stephen King’s Maximum Overdrive?
This classic 1986 horror film shows us what happens when driverless trucks hit the road! They start murdering human in an attempt to take over the world. While industry insiders claim that Uber valued at $68 billion dollars has the potential to help invigorate the growth of the futuristic trucking technology, others fear that the trucks will constantly BLAST nothing but AC/DC all on their own.
The Uber- Otto trucking technology promises to not just utilize driverless systems, but also use better mapping technology to more quickly make shipments. They even plan to match companies with freight services much the way Uber currently pairs passengers with cars. So some day you may be at a truck stop eating a meal cooked by Emilio Estevez and a truck with no human inside may come barreling through and NOT let you leave!
How many years do you think it will take for self-driving trucks to take over America’s highways?
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