Autonomous trucks will haul your stuff before you ride in a self-driving car

The landscape probably won’t transform dramatically over the next few years, says Raj Rajkumar, IEEE Fellow and Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. “The first step will be to establish autonomous driving from exit-to-exit.” A driver pilots the truck onto the highway engages the driving system then takes a backseat. As the truck gets close to the destination, the driver takes back control of the “last mile.” So, a human will deal with the complexities of urban and suburban contexts, piloting the vehicle through constrained roadways and loading docks…

“But over the next 20 years, as self-driving technology develops, the process will evolve to include last-mile delivery services,” says Rajkumar. “[It will be] taking freight from Point A to B with no human involvement. In that scenario, trucks could ride from manufacturer right through to buyers. Drivers do nothing but customer service.”