ghtwaves believes that a fully autonomous (i.e. no human operation; defined as Level 4 or 5) future for trucking is more than a decade away, at a minimum. A forecasted timeline for the development and successful rollout is speculative; but more likely 20 to 30 years (or more) away. This hinges more on a prolonged regulatory and adoption curve as the industry moves from a venture capital (VC)-backed proof-of-concept stage to commercial liability. Nevertheless, we believe that semi-autonomous trucks (defined as Level 2 or 3) will begin to make significant strides over the coming years in certain geographies and on heavily trafficked long-haul lanes, whether in the form of platooning or simply increasing driver assistance. On the journey to full autonomy, truckers quality of life may improve as we think they will remain in the driver’s seat but begin to transfer many of the monotonous, dangerous and grueling tasks to computers – but not the whole operation.
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