In today’s trucking industry, the future is now. You may have heard that companies like Mercedes-Benz are working on creating fully autonomous trucks, but the industry is already even bigger than that. Remote driving trucks, for example, are being developed that, instead of being fully autonomous, can be controlled and safely navigated remotely by a human driver known as a teleoperator.
Pretty cool, right? But what does this trend mean for the dispatchers, and which trucking companies are taking advantage of this? Here are a select few you just might see after your time at dispatcher school is up.
Waymo: A Company Those in Dispatcher Training Will Want to Know About
Google’s sister company Waymo has already developed a reputation as a leader in autonomous driving. Known primarily for its self-driving cars, this company has also run tests on autonomous freight trucks, equipping them with software and hardware to deliver equipment to Google data centres in Atlanta.
However, Waymo’s vehicles aren’t entirely autonomous. While the driving isn’t controlled remotely, teleoperators based in Austin and Phoenix act as a fleet response team to provide an extra set of eyes when situations appear on the road that are tough to navigate.
The Einride T-Pod Is a Remote Driving Truck That Is Environmentally Friendly
With inventions like the T-Pod by Swedish company Einride, graduates of dispatcher schools might one day see some pretty cool innovations on the job. This electric truck not only drives like something out of the future; it looks like it, too. With a Jetsons-meets-Star Wars stormtrooper look, the Einride T-Pod is a 20-tonne (26 when full), 23-foot long delivery truck.
Remotely controlled by an operator, this truck has a load capacity of 15 pallets worth of goods over 200 km, weighing around 33,000 lbs when at full capacity. It’s also a very environmentally-friendly truck that can reduce CO2 emissions by up to 90 per cent through replacing diesel fuel with electricity. After first being developed in 2017, the T-Pod began making deliveries on public roads in Sweden in May 2019, although only over a short distance between a freight terminal and a warehouse.
Starsky Robotics Is Helping Build a Future of Remote Driver Trucking
The CEO of Starsky Robotics, Stefan Seltz-Axmacher, has called remote drivers “the future of trucking”. Starsky is known for its technology that mixes autonomous and remote driving. Its trucks operate autonomously while on the highway, while being guided remotely in off-highway environments and complex traffic situations. It’s kind of like controlling a truck in a video game, except in real life.
Although the company’s ultimate goal is to be completely driverless, human safety nets are currently being used to complement the various cameras, radars and software that come equipped with each truck. Dispatcher training could look very different if these start gaining traction—no pun intended.
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