Eventually, the industry will also embrace electric trucks powered by battery rather than fossil fuel, and this will raise still more questions for autonomous trucking. Where and how will the batteries get recharged? Won’t this prevent self-driving trucks from running 24 hours a day, as the industry has promised?
“There are so many issues that in reality are far more complex than they might seem on paper,” said Steve Viscelli, an economic and political sociologist at the University of Pennsylvania who specializes in trucking. “Though the developers and their partners are putting a lot of effort into thinking this through, many of the questions about what needs to change cannot yet be answered. We are going to have to see what reality looks like.”