‘Just automate the trucks – problem solved’

September 3, 2019

Wendy Parker


As someone who grew up in the South, where public maiming was almost always preceded with the ominous statement of, “Hold my beer and hand me that stick,” I can attest to the fact that technology and mind-altering substances are rarely a mix favored by good fortune.

That being said, we’ve come to the point in which not even mind-altering substances can be blamed for some of the bad ideas the unaffiliated general public seem to have about trucking and autonomous technology. You can’t blame them. The terms of autonomy are constantly thrown about all willy-nilly, without regard to actual definition.

And really, how much can be expected of a society populated with human beings who actually think piloting an electric scooter onto a public highway is OK because the GPS told them it was the shortest route to their destination? It’s a “hold my beer and watch me get maimed” situation waiting to happen.

(Side note: The citation will cost you $204 for that particular offense in Minneapolis, although the devastating cost to the general IQ of mankind as a species is immeasurable.)

Mind you, this is the same ilk who leave comments on news stories about professional driver safety woes with pithy little ditties like, “Just automate the trucks – problem solved.”

Well, “Charlotte” from Bayside, Neb., first of all, where the hell is there a bay in Nebraska? And second of all, do you really understand the implications of what you’re saying?

Of course she doesn’t. And we can’t blame Charlotte for her misinformed nature, she’s fed a constant diet of filthy lies from the ATA about driver shortages. Couple that with mainstream news reporting the decline of human civilization occurring because truckers might actually get to have control of their hours of service. Further compound the confusion by a plethora of articles citing the lives lost in commercial vehicle crashes without the very important facts stating somewhere around 80% of those crashes are not the fault of the professional truck driver.

Bless her heart. Let’s clarify a couple of things for her, and the rest of the folks out there in la-la land who believe robot-trucks are going to save us in the near future.

Dear Charlotte,

You are correct that the roads are indeed a dangerous place.

You are incorrect in assuming we’re anywhere close to fully autonomous self-driving trucks.

You’re also incorrect in assuming that technology can assure your safety as you careen down the highway in a nonautonomous, human-piloted vehicle at high rates of speed, posting Instagram pics of your cool new pedicure.