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In Demand for the Foreseeable Future: The Human Truck Driver

August 20, 2018

Whether you’re hauling oil, gas or eggs, you don’t have to worry about autonomous driving technology taking your job, at least not any time soon.

That’s the conclusion of a new report from the American Center for Mobility that projected few, if any, truck driving jobs, will be affected by self-driving tech in the coming decade.

Led by Michigan State University and supported by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, the report said that automated technology will largely support truck drivers rather than replace them.

“In the near-term there is great potential for these technologies to assist commercial drivers in safely operating trucks,” said Christopher Poe, assistant director for Connected and Automated Transportation Strategy at the transportation institute.

And the longer term?

“Longer-term it will be important to define, develop, and deliver targeted training for the workforce,” Poe said.

Along these lines, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently released the results of a study casting doubt on how ready advanced driver-assistance systems might be to take over driver functions.

Evaluations of adaptive cruise control and active lane-keeping show uneven performance in typical driving situations, the IIHS said. “The early results underscore the fact that today’s systems aren’t robust substitutes for human drivers,” it said.

At the same time, the promise of self-driving technology has the “potential to lead to the creation of thousands of new jobs in the engineering, data analysis, cybersecurity and vehicle ‘monitoring’ areas,” said Shelia Cotten, MSU Foundation Professor at Michigan State University, who led the research.

Several companies are working to develop self-driving trucks, although one, Uber, recently announced it was shutting down its truck unit and instead focusing on self-driving cars.

Eric Gabrielsen is a CCIG Insurance Adviser. Let him know if you have questions or concerns. Reach him at or 720-212-2027.

CCIG is a Denver-area insurance brokerage with the full-service capabilities of a national brokerage. We do more than make sure you have the right policy. We also help you manage your long-term cost of insurance with our risk and claims management expertise and a commitment to service excellence.


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