The Tesla Semi offers something to the trucking industry that could drastically alter the entire freight moving sector. The trucking industry has seen major changes since it began roughly a century ago and has, despite the assumptions of many outsiders looking in, been one of the more technologically-advanced industries in our nation. Trucks themselves have seen huge changes in the past few decades while the freight industry as a whole has been reinvented and revamped multiple times over in that same time period. Nasdaq.com contributor Martin Tillier mentions the impacts that the Tesla Semi and others with similar game-changing technologies will have on the trucking industry long-term.
“The technological change that benefits trucking and delivery businesses have been widely reported, but in my experience, most people that I ask about it focus on the potential negatives rather than looking for opportunities,” writes Tillier. They ignore the biggest beneficiary of all: trucking companies. According to the American Trucking Associations, over 70 percent of the freight moved in the United States is moved by truck. In trucking, the highest cost to the trucking company is the driver behind the wheel, with wages and benefits-not to mention legalities and downtime-having the highest impact on the bottom line. Self-driving trucks would also solve a problem that’s long plagued the trucking industry: driver shortages. Replacements for those skilled drivers are new drivers who’ve completed perhaps three weeks of trucking school and a month of over-the-road training with a slightly more skilled driver as a mentor. This doesn’t make trucking an easy job, but it does mean that those with the most skills are the least likely to lose their jobs when automation becomes the norm. The trucking industry is going through another sea change. The trucking industry knows that electrification and automation are coming. How Tesla’s Semi will dramatically alter the trucking industry.
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