St. Onge Company Links Supply Chain Blog
Strengthening your supply chain one link at a time.

Driverless Transportation

Driverless vehicles, also known as autonomous or self-driving vehicles, are motorized vehicles that are capable of sensing their environment and navigating without human input. These vehicles use artificial intelligence, sensors, GPS, and other advanced technologies to maneuver their way around the road and avoid obstacles. In recent years, the development of these vehicles has been advancing at an unprecedented rate, with a large focus on making them safe for public use. Today, driverless vehicles are being tested on public roads in many countries and are set to revolutionize the transportation industry.

In recent years, many companies have been investing heavily in the development of driverless trucks. These companies include tech giants like Alphabet, Intel, and Uber, as well as trucking industry leaders such as Daimler and Navistar. Most of these companies are investing in the development of self-driving technology for long-haul freight transport, where autonomous vehicles could have the greatest impact.

Other companies have also jumped on board with their own initiatives. In 2020, Volvo and Uber’s self-driving truck unit formed a joint venture to develop automated trucks for long-distance freight transportation. Meanwhile, Tesla recently unveiled its own electric semi-truck, which is capable of self-driving, albeit with a human driver in the cab.

Driverless trucks are also being used by some of the world’s largest logistics companies. Amazon recently began testing its own fleet of self-driving trucks in Arizona, while UPS is also experimenting with a fleet of driverless vehicles in Florida. Both companies are hoping that the technologically advanced vehicles will help them reduce costs and improve efficiency in their operations.

It has been decades since there have been any major revolutions in the trucking industry. This new technology promises to bring a number of benefits, most notably the elimination of human drivers from the equation. By taking human error out, driverless vehicles could dramatically reduce accidents and save lives. Furthermore, they can be programmed to stay on the most efficient routes, potentially reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

Another benefit of driverless vehicles is the potential to drastically reduce supply chain costs. By adopting self-driving fleets, trucking companies could significantly reduce overhead costs associated with recruiting and retaining drivers. This could translate into lower prices for goods and services, potentially making them more affordable for consumers. These vehicles could also potentially increase the efficiency of delivery services, reducing delivery times and increasing customer satisfaction.

When it comes to driverless vehicles, there are naturally some concerns about the safety of such technology. In order for the vehicles to be safe, they must be programmed with a robust set of safety features and fail-safes that can quickly respond to changes on the road. Moreover, these safety features must be tested thoroughly in order to ensure that they can react properly in all situations. Despite this, it is still possible that driverless tractor trailers could cause accidents due to human error or technical failures.

While there are many benefits, it is obvious there this will impact job opportunities for drivers.   Whether this is a blessing or a curse, and for whom, will depend entirely on the difference between the number of drivers in industry seeking work and the number of positions the industry requires.  As the technology becomes more prevalent, it may become more difficult for traditional drivers to find work and make a living. This could have major implications for the trucking industry, which relies heavily on skilled drivers.

Driverless tractor trailers represent a major advance in the trucking industry, and could allow  for safer, faster, and more efficient delivery of goods. Companies developing driverless technology are looking to transform the way we move goods and services, providing a wide range of benefits to those involved in the industry. While there are some potential downsides to self-driving trucks, the positives far outweigh them and it’s clear that driverless technology is part the future of the trucking industry. With continued development and improvement, driverless tractor trailers are sure to revolutionize the way we move goods and services for years to come.
—Susan Young, St. Onge Company

Enter your email to subscribe to "Links":


St. Onge Company is Proud to Have Been Ranked Among the Highest-Scoring Businesses on Inc. Magazine’s Annual List of Best Workplaces for 2023

We have been named to Inc. Magazine’s annual Best Workplaces list! Featured in the May/June 2023 issue, the list is the result of a comprehensive measurement of American companies that have excelled in creating exceptional workplaces and company culture, whether operating in a physical or a virtual facility.

From thousands of entries, we are one of only 591 companies honored.

Click here to see our listing!