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ATA Presents Policy Around Automation

by Anna Mischke | Nov 02, 2017

Customer News 103117

The American Trucking Associations (ATA) released their first policy concerning the development of autonomous trucks and continue to discuss the impact of automation on the trucking industry at the Management Conference and Exhibition (MCE). Approved unanimously by the association board of directors on Oct. 24, the policy outlines the ATA’s stance on trucking autonomy in a 21 point policy.

The policy elucidates the potential of connected vehicle technologies and automation to “dramatically impact nearly all aspects of the trucking industry” from driver experience, productivity, and safety to environmental impact and efficiency. ATA President Chris Spear said that “Adoption of this policy gives a clear direction about what our industry will expect and require as policymakers establish a comprehensive framework for automated vehicles.”

The organized document states that the main focus will be on technologies that retain driver roles as executives and speakers at MCE stressed that unmanned trucks on public roads will not be feasible in the near future. Darryl Oster, assistant chief engineer at Peterbilt Motors Co., urged attendees to consider the dynamic technology required to unlock the safety and efficiency improvements that automation touts. Achieving full levels of automation will require further advances in onboard technology, “machine learning, more advance sensors such as lidar and much greater computing power” and that “processing these massive data streams will require significantly improved computing capabilities never before applied to commercial vehicles.”

While innovations in technology is exciting for many, it will still take a long time to confirm whether technology is truly safer than a skilled, human driver. Ben Sawyer, a postdoctoral associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an expert on human-machine interaction, says that even with the capabilities that are offered through automated driving systems, “the human is still very much the state of the art, and that’s not going away any time soon.” 

3 comments

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  1. Angry Driver | Nov 07, 2017
    This is great more profits for the TOP 3%
  2. Tt | Nov 07, 2017
    Line haul drivers will the first casualty and.this will be rase to the bottom
  3. Cj Eluzai | Nov 07, 2017
    No comment

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