GM's Robo-taxis

It’s research and development. Robotrucks are not advanced enough to make deliveries with few enough mistakes to do it without human supervision. The ride along driver monitors the trips made and reports any issues that arise. These issues don’t have to be accidents, just anything the human driver finds unusual. This may eventually improve self driving trucks enough to allow for autonomous trips. Management sees enough eventual savings from autonomous vehicles that they are willing to spend more now.

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Exactly. At some point the human will be removed from the equation.

N City pickup and delivery can involve a lot of hard physical work, you deliver to businesses, residences, college campuses, warehouses and sometimes it even involves finding the customer on job sites or inside deliveries, flea markets etc. It can’t be done by a robotruck.

My son worked in distribution centers unloading and loading trailers that did not involve the driver.
Trucks arrived and departed all day long. There are freight delivery conditions that do not require a driver.

My son worked for TJ Max and Bed, Bath and Beyond, who knew these companies had large distribution centers like Walmart.

True, there will still be trucking and delivery jobs that need a human, at least for some time to come. However, distribution hub to distribution hub trucking could be replaced by autonomous trucks. There are a huge number of trucks currently doing this type of delivery all across the country. Consider an autonomous truck does not have to stop to let the driver rest. So long haul trucking could be much faster and without the risk of tired humans.

I was not talking about truckload freight, but LTL freight and not all truckload freight is unloaded by the customer either most grocery warehouses require drivers to put the groceries onto their loading dock and there are many more companies that require driver unload than those that don’t.

Truck cargo boxes can be redesigned for autonomous unloading. If materials can be moved around a warehouse by robot maybe they can be delivered that way. That’s a long way off IMO though.

And those jobs can be done by people who get paid a lot less than a CDL driver.

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Who is going to open the trailer doors and secure them, know when you need to open a trailer with roll up doors because the customer has an automatic dock plate that will go through the roll up door when you back in if you don’t open it. Is the robo truck going to handle the paperwork and open I piece of each shipment when you cross the border from Canada. Who is going to back the trailes in to loading docks or move the freight to the back? Most customers won’t come in the truck and you don;t want them to for liability issues.

Such a trailer would be much heavier and cost much more than trailers today. That would cut down on the weight that could be hauled and cut revenue and increase expenses.

Could a robotruck take 40,000 pounds of pennies in 40,lb canvas bags and pick them up off the trailer floor and load them on a very narrow electric cart flush with the back of the trailer for the employees to wheel through the very narrow doorway of the room where they were stored? Will it back up to a hole in the wall of a building and stop with just enough room for a person to getup in the trailer with 225 lb beef quarters loaded on the trailer floor and pick them up and put them on our shoulder and hang them on a rotating hook conveyor system that extended out the hole at above shoulder height

Can a robotrailer take 40000 lb of tour books and park alongside a downtown hotel alongside a manually operated freight elevator that you habe to lift the steel doors that are flush with the sidewalk and get some tour book cartons out of the trailer, put them on the elevator, relock the trailer doors, operate the elevator to the basement and carry the cartons across the basement to a normal elevator up to the 7th floor and into a large hotel suite where a business was operating. Then repeat until you have delivered the whole load. I did not even have a hand cart. These are examples of some deliveries I have made. The 225 beef quarters, another driver went with me because of the weight but he was my size and we found it easier to each handle the quarters by ourselves.

Harlem and Space Lab have their delivery challenges; however, I think the trucking industry will focus on common depot deliveries. My local Costco has a yard mule to move trailers around the lot, maybe they can get a union man to raise the trailer door.

In terms of things like taxi services or maybe even pizza deliver/door dash, having self driving vehicles would cut down on a lot of extra expenses like insurance for full time drivers(if there is such a thing), 401k and other benefits that would go to the drivers. Uber/Lyft wouldn’t really need to exist save for small towns that don’t have public transit.

Insurance goes to the vehicle. Fleet vehicles don’t pay extra for insurance based on the person driving.

I was talking about medical/dental/vision/disability insurance, not car insurance. Guess I should have specified more elaborately than mentioning ‘full time drivers and 401k and other benefits’, but I can see where it would be easy to misinterpret it.

To me the future use of self driving trucking starts with containers. Right now containers come off ships and can be transferred to self driving flat-bed trailers that move to transfer stations. These containers can be moved in the same way all over the country, and delivered unopened to distribution points. Self driving vehicles can operate as many hours as possible except for recharging or refueling, they don’t get distracted, fall asleep, have diabetes and get fired, argue with their spouses on the cellphone or drink a beer. They don’t stop to eat dinner and get involved with a sex worker. They don’t have egos and they don’t play dodgeball with other drivers. And they don’t decide they would rather do a job that lets them sleep at home in a real bed.

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I don’t know about other places, but around here pizza deliverers are independent contractors and get no benefits at all. The thought of them getting medical insurance or 401Ks is really amusing.

If they are driving a car owned by a Pizzeria, they are part time minimum wage employees, also with no benefits. If they get tips they ar paid less than minimum wage because their tips are counted according to an IRS formula.

The number of employees determines if health insurance is required. A pizza restaurant in a city environment might employee more than 25 people, therefore need to pay for health insurance.

Independent contractors are not classified as employees although most of them should be. It is an abuse of the intent of the labor laws.

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It was more of a trick question, based on the difference between the president and an ex president but it did not work because he picked the wrong date.