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Self-Driving Trucks to Revolutionize Industry, Juice U.S. Economy

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“You could soon share the road with trucks driven by robot drivers — sooner than you think — and that is going to mean big changes for the U.S. economy. 

“The Central North American Trade Corridor Association has proposed a robot truck corridor crossing Canada, the U.S. and Mexico and has launched an initiative to implement this on Route 83. The group is planning to travel to communities along the corridor to gain support.

“Robotics has been part of the economy for more than five decades now. But largely it has been in the domain of factories and more recently in warehouses. Trucking could be the first major industry to move robotics into the public sphere. Soon, all Americans will be faced with robots driving next to them on highways.

“The potential of robot-driven trucks is starting to create a movement among businesses and states to be the first to what will turn into a gold rush.

“Whoever has the regulatory framework in place” will be the first to get autonomous vehicles, Wolfgang Bernhard, head of Daimler‘s (DDAIY) global truck and bus unit,said recently. Fittingly Nevada, one of the states on the proposed route, has already licensed robot trucks to drive on its highways. In May 2015, Daimler unveiled the first robot truck licensed to drive in Nevada. At a grand event at the Hoover dam, Daimler introduced its Freightliner “Inspiration” self-driving trucks.

“We believe that this will help save lives and prevent costly accidents,” Martin Daum, president of Portland, Oreg.-based Daimler Trucks North America, parent of Freightliner, said recently.”

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