A panel of U.S. lawmakers was briefed on the future of autonomous vehicles Tuesday by the House of Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
Though truck builders have quickly joined the race to develop autonomous vehicles, American Trucking Associations President Chris Spear says don’t expect to see robotic trucks on the highway anytime soon.
“What we’re really talking about is not displacing drivers: I think you’re always going to need drivers in trucks in the cityscapes to do the pickups and deliveries,” Spear told the panel Tuesday.
“If you equate it to pilots—you still have pilots in the cockpit. They do the taxiing, they do the takeoff, they do the landing,” Spear said. “What we’re talking about is at cruising altitude hitting that autopilot button. For a trucker, it’s really the long haul. That’s where you really get the return on this kind of investment.”
Spear told lawmakers a scenario with drivers monitoring self-driving trucks is far more likely than unmanned vehicles in coming years.
For additional details on Tuesday’s briefing, view the original article at www.detroitnews.com/story/business/autos/2016/12/12/autonomous-truck/95319364/.