Self-Driving vehicles just received a Big Jump; to Big Rigs. Technology has taken a leap into the transportation industry – Uber has purchased the company OTTO for some $680 million dollars. Today’s crash-avoidance systems are the mile markers to tomorrow’s autonomous vehicles.
One of the company’s big rig trucks at Otto, led by 15 former Google engineers, in San Francisco.
What does this mean for transportation and the industry? If we take a look back in the automotive past, we find many features from the horse and buggy days to the present self-driving vehicles that have advanced to improve safety and comfort. Changes of this magnitude, the self-driving car, will take years to become the norm, but it is coming. Uber has already started implementing self-driving, driverless vehicles in their fleet on the streets of Chicago. This will mean fewer employees and better company profits.
All of the major Automotive Manufacturers are reaching out to technology companies to help them get the jump on this future market. General Motors has teamed up with Lift, Ford has teamed up with Google, and now Uber has purchased OTTO, in order to take crash avoidance to the next level. As for Tesla, they are developing their own autonomous vehicles.
There are so many things to consider when thinking that cars will soon be driverless and many people will be without jobs. What does that mean for our future? Are Robots next to replace employees on assembly lines? It’s something to think about. Is this the technology revolution where jobs will be scarce? I guess only time will tell, but if that is the case, how are people going to earn a living to afford these self-driving vehicles, or will we soon be dependent on companies who own large fleets of self-driving vehicles to take us where we want to go? Maybe they will teach the vehicles how to self install snow chains? Now, I am game for that one.
Are the insurance companies behind this huge push for self-driving technology in order to save on the bottom line? Or is this just technology soaring way too fast? Automation has been on the uprise for generations and will continue way into the future, especially with drivers so distracted these days by other forms of technology. Reducing crashes and saving lives is really the bottom line.
As for the ‘Big Rigs’ currently, the self driving trucks are only designed to be utilized on highways and not surface streets. Truck drivers will still need to be present to navigate once the truck leaves the interstate and travels to its destination. Drivers will still be needed.
Personally, I am still not convinced that self-driving technology will not have its downfalls with failure of electronic components, and job loss. Look at all the recalls we’ve had in the past several years; all of the failed or inferior components being installed on vehicles. I remember my mom telling us as children that she once used to read about space ships and landing on the moon when she was younger. During her time as a child it was far fetched. Well, we all know that became reality in our life time, so I guess you could say, this in not far fetched anymore. Visions do become reality. Just look around you. Happy Motoring