Trucking News

Autonomous trucks could spell the end for railroads' intermodal cost advantages. But the jury on self-driving vehicles is still out. For any number of reasons, the image of driverless trucks rumbling down the nation's highways doesn't sit well with many folks. For the nation's railroads, whose intermodal operations do battle each day with truckers for shipper dollars, the notion of autonomous vehicles could be well nigh intolerable.

Indianola, Miss.-based small fleet owner Bryant Kimbrough was among attendees of Friday morning sessions at the 2017 Expedite Expo show, taking place Friday-Saturday, July 14-15, at the Lexington Convention Center in Lexington, Ky. At a session conducted by CIS (Commercial Insurance Solutions) agents Shelly and John Benisch, Kimbrough revealed a quandary many an independent with a relatively young business has experienced.

Wal-Mart's logistics arm, which encompasses both the retailer's private fleet and transportation outsourced to for-hire carriers, has started telling carriers it may opt against doing business with them if they do business with Amazon, according to a transportation analyst familiar with the messaging.

It's one of those by-now almost unsurprising policy stances when it comes to energy consumption and freight movements: the portrayal of trucks as 'bad apples,' despite their critical role in delivering everything that keeps our modern lives up and running.

[Did a railroad locomotive deliver goods ordered via Amazon to your door? Does fresh milk get delivered by horse and wagon in your neighborhood? I didn't think so.]

The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced two proposals that would take steps toward responding to a national shortage of qualified truck and bus drivers.  These proposed processes would simplify obtaining a commercial driver's license (CDL) for many individuals and reduce administrative expenses to both the driver applicant and state driver licensing agencies.

When Uber Technologies used a self-driving truck to run a load of Budweiser beer across 120 miles of Colorado last year, the feat gave the trucking industry a glimpse of a cost-saving driverless future.

But the loss of drivers has an employment dark side.

There's no shortage of studies and analysis suggesting that robots can potentially take our jobs. But exactly how far away are we from losing our livelihoods to automation?

Artificial intelligence experts with the BBC surveyed 352 scientists about automation, including some of the world's leading experts on machine learning. According to the BBC analysis, there is a 50% chance that machines can take over all human jobs in 120 years.

Uber Technologies's drive to become a major player in the trucking business is off to a bumpy start, with analysts and industry executives questioning what exactly the company can bring to the sprawling $700-billion industry.
The San Francisco ride-services giant had planned to disrupt freight hauling by offering a complete package of trucking technology including self-driving trucks and smartphone-based logistics services.

President Trump's proposed budget for the Department of Transportation (DOT) is running into resistance from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

During a hearing on Thursday, House appropriators expressed deep concern over the administration's proposed cuts to a number of popular transportation programs, as well as Trump's support for a controversial plan to separate air traffic control from the federal government.

Driving jobs will disappear, and society will need to cope

In the United States there are around 3.5 million truck drivers, and when you combine that with all the cab and ride-sharing employees, that number creeps closer to 4 million, which is just over 1% of the country's population.