Group Proposes Cross Border Autonomous Truck Corridorby Jana Ritter - Published: 5/25/2015
Just weeks after Daimler debuted the world’s first licensed self-driving semi at the Hoover Dam in Nevada, a plan is already in the works for an autonomous vehicle corridor running from Mexico, through the United States and up to Canada. Last week, members of the Central North American Trade Corridor Association met in North Dakota to discuss the reality of turning Route 83, which runs north-south through Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota and then continues up to the Canadian province of Manitoba, into a stream-lined freight route for self driving trucks.
January 05, 2018 - Trucker Faces 20 Years After Pleading Guilty To Smuggling Alien Found Dead In Locked Toolbox
January 02, 2018 - Police Identify 2 Oregon Truck Drivers Killed In Fiery Head-On Crash
December 27, 2017 - Iowa First Of Eight States To Debut New Truck Parking Information System
While some have balked at the idea calling the group “…driverless dreamers on crack”, Marlo Anderson of the Central North American Trade Corridor Association says that the idea is not too far-fetched and that members are already working to turn it into a reality. Anderson also said that he can understand why the concept of autonomous vehicles is still unnerving for people to comprehend but what many don’t realize is that they have the potential to be a lot safer by removing human error from driving. “What we have to do is to educate people,” says Anderson.
Anderson admits that one of the major valid concerns is the possibility of a computerized vehicle system being hacked and taken over. But his simple answer is that “there would have to be security measures in place so that doesn’t happen.” It is one of many areas that he says the group is planning to examine as they begin to study the feasibility of the project. Anderson also says that they plan to travel to communities located along the corridor in order to educate and gain public support. The group feels that once more people are aware of the need and realize that this corridor is a feasible solution, the more people will jump on board to give this project the go ahead. "One of the challenges we have here in North Dakota is that we have a lot of energy production going on right now, but not enough pipelines to carry the oil from North Dakota to its destination point," says Anderson. He explains that this has also created a situation where other commodities need to fight for space on trains and that a separate corridor could relieve that pressure.
With the Freightliner model already leading by example, Anderson says that the technology already exists and that these vehicles are also equipped with advanced tools such as GPS to navigate roads. He projects that once the technology is fully developed, unmanned vehicles will be much more efficient by eliminating the current hours of service issues we have now. "They don't need to worry about a driver having too many hours in a day or in a week. Those types of things go by the wayside because the vehicle doesn't care," Anderson says. He also says that with the right plan in place, this corridor could also eliminate the long waits at the border crossings. "We're hopeful that, working with the Canadian government, the Mexican government, the United States, we can create some kind of automated way to streamline that process of border crossings."