The world is changing rapidly in more ways than one including the way we move, and the Transportation industry is no exception. With a considerable amount of ingenuity being put into the world of automated transportation, it won’t be long before we begin seeing drastic changes take place within the Transportation industry.
The discussion of autonomous vehicles has been around for many years. The idea of automation was based on the predicated notion that life would be simpler and more efficient if the machine ran on its own. It was a theory developed in the 1920’s but came to fruition 50 years later in the 1970’s by an engineering lab in Japan. In 1977, the first semi-auto self-driving car was developed. Of course, with any new invention of that size comes many hurdles, requiring a new way of looking at infrastructure and heavy costs in testing and re-building.
Fast forward to 2019 and Sweden is spearheading the change in delivery with the “T-Pod”. The “T-Pod” is an electric delivery vehicle receiving one of the world’s first permits to operate daily freight deliveries on public roads, thus commercializing all automated vehicle deliveries in Sweden. This is the first of its kind and according to the developer, “Ground zero for autonomous vehicles is the United States.” He goes on to add “I think it (US) will be the first market to scale when it comes to autonomous vehicles.”
The developer of the “T-Pod” is seemingly accurate in his statement. In 2016, America’s first automated big rig started in Fort Collins, CO and hauled to Colorado Springs, CO. This 120-mile trip brought many questions and concerns to many people including:
- Will Truck drivers lose their jobs?
- Will the roads be safe with 26K lb. trucks operating without anyone controlling the wheel?
- Will America’s infrastructure and law need to be rethought?
While this new design of autonomous vehicles can have a massive affect amongst a variety of industries, it has yet to be determined the impact it will have in the Transportation industry and in our daily lives. With autonomous innovation being rapidly developed by companies such as Tesla, Volkswagen, BMW and Daimler, the transportation industry will have many questions to answer as these vehicles begin to operate in a more “normal” and frequent manner.
It’s already happening in Sweden!
Written By: Brandon Laam
Brandon has been an Underwriter in the Transportation industry for over 6 years. After having a hand in the creation of a start-up MGA, he ended up finding his niche’ within the Moving & Storage industry. Outside of the office Brandon likes to fish, hike, kayak, garden and read.