Navada has street legal self driving big rigs - well sorta

I guess I’m glad that Nevada is about 2000 miles from here. Unfortunately, I work a lot in DC. I’ll have to look into how it is implemented there.

On the lighter side, I could buy the tractor and put a pickup bed on it! It would be much like the truck depicted below. Gas prices are down; why not!? Then I could eat Whoppers on the road. As we all know, it takes two hands to handle a Whopper!

Yes, you’re reading my mail. If this could standardize the rigs and be good for both business and profit, here 's to it. I just wonder if it would not encourage more sleeping. Sure hope there is an alarm or a giant hand to give a sleeping driver a slap accross the face to wake him up if need be. He should be awake for his exit, don’t you think ?

Hopefully they don’t just become railroad trains on wheels where everyone else has to get out of the way.

@jtsanders How many Giant Whoopers could you buy for the price of one of those trucks. Why not just tow your house, walk back along the porch between them and take a nap after the Whooper.

You know I wasn’t serious@dagosa. And if you don’t, you certainly should have.

Soooooooo … if an automated redlight camera snaps a photo of a driverless vehicle running a redlight, who does the ticket get mailed to? And will it be delivered by a drone?

Wait… wait… I see it now… a human-free society! Will the environmentalists finally be satisfied? Or will we have to create robots whose sole function is to complain?

Sorry. Couldn’t resist.

I wonder if this autonomous truck is going to be able to account for something like a load shifting or a tire letting go and leading to the trailer jackknifing or that auto driver who veers over and slams on the brakes without pondering the stopping distances involved?

Many years ago while I was on the way to see a Leon Russell concert some guy in an early 70s Nova did just that and the semi behind him pretty well obliterated that Nova from the rear seat back. The only saving grace was that the Nova occupants were not badly injured and if not religious prior to the crash they were probably thanking the Lord right afterwards to some degree.

Soooooooo ....... if an automated redlight camera snaps a photo of a driverless vehicle running a redlight, who does the ticket get mailed to? And will it be delivered by a drone?

According to the article the driver is ultimately responsible.

On the lighter side, I could buy the tractor and put a pickup bed on it!

For that money you could get several Tesla P85-D’s, which will have an autopilot feature in a near-future software update. :wink:

Driver fatigue is a real problem. You can strenghten work limit rules (and they have been) but this can often can unexpected side-effects where the effort to comply with the reg has safety consequences of its own. (As an “apples to oranges” cimoaruson, the Tenerife accident–to date the worst unintended aviation crash–occurred largely because of rushing to stay under work hour restrictions).

So, I think the technology shows promise, however…I wonder if “incremental” add-ons such as lane-departure warnings/correcting to follow lanes/alerting the driver to his fatigued state would be both cheaper AND more effective than the “gee whiz” solution where the truck drives itself. (I think that in the real world, incremental assist options will prove way more popular, too.)

One issue with alerting the driver to his fatigued state is that if his boss tells him “I don’t give a damn, you’re gonna drive your shift,” then alerting him isn’t going to do much good.

As far as addressing it by having the truck drive itself - I would think you’d be more likely to nod off if you weren’t driving. Just sitting in the seat staring at the scenery without having to do anything would be more lulling than being in control of the truck.

One issue with alerting the driver to his fatigued state is that if his boss tells him "I don't give a damn, you're gonna drive your shift," then alerting him isn't going to do much
Well, you've made a compelling argument for either a) workers with "intestinal fortitude", b) unions, or c) both a) and b).

If it were I, I’d get bossman (dispatch) on tape saying to drive through fatigue, giving me a “get out of jail free” card going forward.

a) workers with "intestinal fortitude", b) unions, or c) both

Yeah, I agree. Unfortunately intestinal fortitude these days is likely to get you fired because there are plenty of people out there who are willing to do your job for less than you make without batting an eye at management abuse. And unions have been largely crippled over the last 30-odd years, so that’s problematic as well.

Greenspan once said that his goal was a frightened workforce because then workers are more compliant and less likely to demand things like decent wages and working conditions. He got his wish, and now we have worker bees who feel like they must do everything management tells them to or they will be rendered broke and homeless.

^ Well, my definition of “intestinal fortitude” is to be able to say “shove it” even if there’s a real probability of getting fired/reprimanded. Doesn’t take much to thumb your nose at an impotent boss; you have have to have some hair on yer bum to do it when it may have consequences.

Not to get too political, but I do think unions (or some sort of “professional standards fraternity”) is called for in safety-intensive jobs like mining, transportation, etc. Perhaps something like a “not quite a union” AMA for doctors, for instance.

I agree that unions did and stil do have a useful function. They also cause a lot of trouble. Since life is inefficient and we all have different views of what are and are not appropriate functions of labor unions, arguments will rage on forever. Maybe we can avoid raging on here again.

@jtsanders Of course I know you weren’t serious. Did it actually sound like I was ? Like…suggesting you tow a house and take a nap after your whooper to make it financially worth it. :wink:

I thought you were exaggerating for effect. It seemed to me that in doing so you were taking my comments far too seriously. I figured that readers might get a laugh and move on. I guess you had your fun too, and that’s OK.

Unions in auto maker plants always give the worker some say about safety conditions. AAMOF, that is their primary concern…working conditions. The number of injuries would be much higher without them as auto making can be a dangerous occupation without safety considerations. Unions you are right, are not necessary all the time. LL Bean for example, listens to their employees regularly and provides working conditons suitable for anyone. You would be surprised to know the things they do ask of their employees that do have safety concerns from testing equipment to manning phone ordering posts for extended periods. They seem to do very well. If all manufacturing plants had the LLBean “employee treatment philosophy”, you may never see another union in existence.

I would think these automated rigs would be a plus in safety considerations and working conditions while making efficiency improved. Safe working conditions and production efficiency do not have to be contrary. Life in general can be very efficient…if we believed in Soylent Green.

You may or may not be aware that people circumvent safety equipment on purpose, often to increase their pay. When I worked in a steel mill several people died because they circumvented safety equipment designed to keep them from injuring themselves. In one case, a worker found a way to make his machine work the way he wanted it to by purposefully putting his gloved hand on a piece of moving wire in front of 3 safety devices that would have stopped the machine before he got pulled in. He got pulled in.

Absolutly. I used to work in a paper mill on a chipper which was two stories high. I stupidly try to take the easy way out and not monitor every piece of wood that dropped in. When a larger then should be piece jammed, I tried to pull it out too late, it almost pulled me into the chipper when it actually did fit. The 20 lb steel gaffing hook went n with it when I let go after the wood pulled me half way into the entry chute. The chipper chipped the steel hook just like the huge prices of wood. That could have been me. There were safety devices that could have prevented this “almost” accident…but safety devices like those in cars don’t work if people choose to be dumb too. Most people aren’t dumb enough not to use them…and many are saved from injury even if a few don’t take advantage of them. You can lead a horse to water…

Truckers often drive too fast and stay away too long to make their runs too. No easy answer. But this certainly looks promising and I think it will come to pass in one form or another.

You had better be careful about what state you are in when you get the boss on tape. Here in NY you can do it because we are a one party consent state where a conversation can be taped with only one person in the conversation consenting.
In other states, recording someone without their permission or a court order is a FELONY.

As far as driver fatigue, the figure of one in eight crashes being caused by driver fatigue is way too low. I suspect that it is just the ones they can prove are caused by driver fatigue. Driver fatigue is the dirty secret of the trucking industry that every driver knows. I am glad I got through my career without ever hurting anyone but i certainly can’t claim I never drove tired.