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Peterborough
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Huntingdon
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7th January 2020

Will Automation Replace Lorry Drivers?

Posted in: Industrial Topics
self-driving lorries

If you work in the logistics industry, you may be wondering how the introduction of self-driving lorries will affect you. Although automation will not replace lorry drivers in the foreseeable future, self-driving lorries will present a variety of benefits and challenges to the logistics industry. In this blog, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of self-driving lorries, so you’re fully informed of the imminent industry changes that lie up ahead.

Benefits of Self-Driving Lorries

Self-driving lorries present the following benefits:

  • Increased productivity, fuel efficiency, safety, delivery times and the flow of traffic
  • Decrease costs and accidents

The best thing about self-driving lorries is that they never take breaks, go on holiday, fall asleep at the wheel or disobey the rules of the road. They all but eliminate human error, making the roads safer for all.

Challenges

Despite many enticing benefits, there are slightly more challenges to integrating self-driving lorries. They are:

  1. Because lorries aren’t as nimble as cars, operating them in cities takes skill to avoid collisions with pedestrians and fellow motorists. Experts fear that automated lorries won’t be able to navigate crowded spaces safely.
  2. Self-driving lorries have a sensor on top of their cab which uses a combination of radars and cameras to effectively control them. Experts worry that the sensor may be impaired by sunlight or poor weather conditions and result in an accident or misread road sign.
  3. Should a self-driving lorry get into an accident, the cost of repairs would be astronomically higher due to its technology’s complexity.
  4. Since self-driving lorries are fully automated, they’re susceptible to cyber attacks.
  5. The law isn’t clear on who is liable if a self-driving lorry gets into an accident. The Automated and Electric Vehicle Act was passed in 2018, but it’s currently undergoing a three-year review to eliminate any confusion in regards to liability and safety.

Will Self-Driving Lorries Still Need Drivers?

Yes! Drivers will still be needed to monitor self-driving lorries for the foreseeable future. A driver must remain in the cab of a self-driving lorry in the event that he or she needs to override the system to prevent a collision.

The logistics industry will change with the introduction of self-driving lorries, but hopefully now you know what to expect when it does. For more information about the latest logistic industry trends, contact Recruit Mint. We’re here to help!

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