Self-Driving Trucks

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RonCo
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Self-Driving Trucks

Post by RonCo » Sat Aug 17, 2019 2:39 pm

Taking a break from all this Dusty Rhodes stuff. My wife sent me this story, which was interesting for both the tech and the fact that it's here in Tucson/Phoenix. I knew a truck company had signed a deal to start using self-driving trucks in the fall. Didn't know UPS was already doing it. Maybe Brett has some insight there? Anyway, watching the video (seeing all the stupid humans speeding past in the rain?) is kind of cool.

https://gizmodo.com/ups-has-been-delive ... 1837272680
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Re: Self-Driving Trucks

Post by bschr682 » Sat Aug 17, 2019 3:17 pm

1. The article is incredibly misleading. They haven’t been delivering squadoosh. The truck still has people on board and only drives itself on long open stretches of highway.

2. This is coming and it’s going to be one of the biggest dilemmas of the age. How many accidents will people stomach a robot causing versus accidents caused by human error? If memory serves one of the guys running to be the democratic presidential nominee has built a large part of his platform focused on this and other automation issues.

3. I can easily see automation wiping out the point A to point B semi truck driving industry. I cannot see them ever getting to a place where they replace people like me unless we get to a place where the only vehicles allowed on the road ever are robot vehicles. People are gonna mess with these driverless things and not think twice about causing them to crash since there won’t be anyone on board to get hurt. That’s gonna be a thing. Same thing with the drone delivery idea.

4. I’m not sure why I numbered this hah

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Re: Self-Driving Trucks

Post by RonCo » Sat Aug 17, 2019 3:44 pm

1. Yeah, the article does say they haven't hit the point of taking people out of the cab.
2. But the video enclosed shows the truck driving in, if not city streets, neighborhood streets. It stops for a train and whatnot.
3. And, yeah, the comments in the piece have discussions about Andrew Yang.
4. Thanks for your thoughts.

I've been on the tech side of these kinds of features some time back, but it's hard to gauge exactly how far they've gone. I passed a Waymo automated cab on my way to a D-Backs game last year, but that was on I-10. It was one of the experimental taxis, and had people in the back.
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Re: Self-Driving Trucks

Post by bschr682 » Sat Aug 17, 2019 6:02 pm

Oh its incredibly interesting but everyone says OMG its only like 5 years away and as an actual delivery driver I laugh my ass off. I mean sure 30,000 foot view of my job is I drive around in a truck all day to predetermined addresses and make the delivery then its on to the next. Which sounds easy enough to automate but its actually so, so, so not easy to boil it down that way.

-Many things have to be signed for. And sometimes it has to specifically be an adult (alcohol for example). And honestly sometimes the driver needs to abort a delivery because something fishy is going on. How would an auto driving truck handle that?
-How is the truck going to physically drop things off with a non signature required delivery. The drone thing? That sort of combo couldn't do 10% of what I do in a day.
-The ability to pivot from a standard delivery on the fly. Small kids are out in the yard? How does the truck handle that or dogs. Or customers chasing me down to pick it up from me. Or calling me and switching where the package should go as im out doing my thing.
-What about larger deliveries? You would not believe how many things I deliver that are over 50 lbs. and/or odd shapes and sizes. Grills, swimming pools, trampolines, lawn mowers, tires and other car parts, all kinds of furniture, tvs, etc etc.

Now the step before it gets to me, the semi hauling from UPS center to UPS center. Those guys need to be worried some day but I don't think its that close. The first time that self driving semi runs over and kills a road construction worker? All hell is going to break loose.

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Re: Self-Driving Trucks

Post by bschr682 » Sat Aug 17, 2019 6:08 pm

This whole push for this boils down to simply trying to make more money without raising the cost of shipping. I.E. Lets not pay people to do it when machines don't need to be paid. But it has to be cost effective. Is it really truly cheaper to not pay a human but instead invest all this money into R&D, building the special infrastructure, lobbying to change laws, not to mention figuring out how to do all the maintenance this will inevitably require. Sure that new shiny auto driving semi looks and sounds cool but is it actually cheaper? Because if its not, this will be a massive waste of oodles of time and money.

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