The Future of Truck Automation on the Road

Autonomous driving is presented as the key to the future of commercial vehicles, and Google Car is currently the promise, as it is the leading researcher in the area with the largest budget and capacity to enable truck automation, something that not only the United States is working on.

Several European projects are also behind the prized automation of trucks on the road, especially the fact of achieving it without the need to modify the infrastructure of highways and roads, and this does not mean that truck drivers will lose their jobs, in fact, it seeks to include them even more, as a human driver could verify trajectories of up to three automated trucks. 

In general, automated trucks will increase safety on the road, can see up to eight connected vehicles, and minimize human risk, and can also be implemented as automated commercial vehicles for transporting both people and goods. Do you find this topic interesting? Stay to the end to find out more.

What is truck automation?

When we think of automated trucks or automated commercial vehicles, a huge debate opens up in the transportation industry and numerous concerns appear on a social level, however, companies are using the best technology to ensure primarily safety and then the optimization of resources; in this way fully automated trucks can be used, which are similar to a production line in a factory, i.e. safe and faultless, running around the clock and without interruptions. 

The aim of automation is not to leave truck drivers out of the equation, but to make the transport of goods and even people safer and more efficient, although as with any new technology, detractors are always to be expected. Regardless, truck automation seems to be the future of transportation, representing a way to save millions of dollars and add countless social and safety benefits. 

How does an automated truck work?

Truck automation will be able to optimize and maximize a business through artificial intelligence that helps generate high-tech truck systems, with built-in sensors and other specialized tools such as radar, image interpretation software, sonar, and high-definition cameras.

The combination of all these elements will make automated commercial vehicles and trucks respond instantaneously to changes in road conditions, traffic, and vehicle speed. 

The software will perform the function of truck drivers, i.e., it will send instructions to the steering, braking, and acceleration controls. It is a completely safe technology that integrates artificial intelligence functions and the use of algorithms to avoid obstacles and interpret objects and people, it can also monitor the road in real-time, always adhering to traffic rules and adding an additional safety factor, which is it is able to predict accidents and thus avoid them.  



A clear and simple example of automated driving has been Tesla's systems, which despite being partially autonomous have demonstrated effectiveness with their built-in tools, such as remote vehicle detection and emergency braking that detects accidents out of sight of the driver.

The degree of development of automated trucks and vehicles

While modern technology seeks to make commercial vehicles fully automated, this has not yet been achieved, the intervention and presence of truck drivers are still required since automation has not yet been able to replace all the tasks of the human component.  

Currently, the main players in automated driving are Google with Alphabet Inc.'s Waymo, Starsky Robotics Embark, TuSimple, and Uber Technologies Inc. These are companies that have used their powerful economic resources and audio-visual systems to dabble in the creation of automated trucks, most of them even have truck drivers on board, who function as safety and support personnel during the autonomous driving process.  


What does the future hold for humans?

Truck drivers can rest assured, automated driving does not represent a threat, the wait to implement driverless trucks will be long and there are no plans to exclude the human component, as human input will always be essential, so the aim is to create an active safety technology that includes the driver and adds the automated elements to represent an assistance support until the technology is able to assume the total elimination of the human driver on the roads.

Advantages and disadvantages of autonomous vehicles

There are numerous plans for truck automation, these, in turn, involve advantages and disadvantages for trucks, commercial vehicles, and drivers alike; learn about some of them below. 


  • Automated trucks can be platooned to allow them to travel together in convoys on highways, reducing air friction for the trucks behind, resulting in lower fuel consumption and reduced CO2 emissions. 
  • Audio-visual systems employed by truck automation will be able to save up to $3 trillion (about $9,200 per person in the US) and $6 trillion (about $18,000 per person in the US) in consumer, societal and business benefits. 
  • Optimization of road traffic and reduction of errors resulting in traffic accidents. 


  • May become an employment inequality problem for truck drivers, especially due to an aging workforce. 
  • Learning programs should be implemented to explain to society how the machines work and seek ways to include the human component to avoid an economic gap by leaving the middle class with one less source of work.

In the United States, ASI, a robotics firm is in constant pursuit of consolidating this technology to develop driverless convoys for war vehicles, greatly minimizing the need for humans in conflict zones, and making it possible for more soldiers to return home to their families. 

At Alpha Solutions we believe in the benefits of technology and the way it can optimize everyone's life, so it is in our principles to conclude that truck automation should not be seen as a threat to truck drivers, but as a challenge to learn how to take advantage of technology always in our favor, seeing automated trucks as a useful tool. We hope you liked the information and always be open to the process of adaptation that technology constantly involves, as evolutionary beings, we must be part of the change.

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