Artificial Intelligence—or AI as it is referred to—is quickly becoming a mainstream technology that we can use in smartphones, personal computers and other plug-and-play home or office devices. AI is making life easier for companies seeking to integrate this into the next generation of consumer vehicles, but not without some doubt by transportation companies like Status Transportation.
With the help of AI, humans can do so much more than they would be able to within their physical and intellectual capabilities. Benefits include reducing risks, increasing capabilities and anticipating challenges while simultaneously making millions of calculations resulting in course corrections.
Autonomous or self-driving vehicles integrate AI to remove the traditional human interface, such as a steering wheel, speedometer, acceleration, and deceleration. This allows individuals to simply input where they want the vehicle to go, while they effortlessly enjoy the ride there.
However, while it is a romanticized idea to have self-driving cars everywhere, early testing has produced as much success as it is uncovering failures. That is enough to prompt Status Transportation to start evaluating how this paradigm shift can affect or benefit the transportation industry.
“We don’t believe drivers such as Owner Operators will be eliminated,” says John L. Statkus, President of Status Transportation Corp. “What will happen is that we will begin to see a shift to a more sophisticated Owner Operator, who will require new training and knowledge of technology—much like pilots are still required on a commercial airliner.”
The challenge for self-driving vehicles is to ensure a concert-like operation of software and sensors, which will not only track and follow the road on which vehicles ride but must also react to infinite scenarios resulting from an ever-changing environment. Current challenges include navigation accuracy, government regulations and industry trends resulting from the current learning process. However, even governments and transportation authorities are not yet ready for autonomous vehicles—and may not be for another decade.
The most plausible scenario considers long-haul transport to benefit most from automated commercial transportation, while local transportation is handled by human-driven commercial vehicles. “Humans can react smarter to any change in the planned course of a commercial vehicle,” adds Statkus. “We are not just talking about a scenario of a child running into the street, but also taking into account other vehicles, driving conditions, and weather—among other factors.”
Status Transportation will be ready to evolve as the industry does—and the company may even lead the way to meet new trends. As of this moment, autonomous transportation does not yet exist as a mainstream operation, and Status continues to serve the needs of Owner Operators.
Preparing for the challenges and opportunities ahead include the creation of automated service terminals to support the need of automated vehicles—but the company believes that humans will still be needed to manage the navigation and to service vehicles properly. Autonomous commercial vehicles will one day become a reality and when that happens, Status Transportation will not only retain all Owner Operators in the fleet but also remain a fully-engaged player in the transition and adaptation of the future of commercial transportation.
Status Transportation Corp. is a Florida-based trucking company that provides support for Owner Operator truck drivers, managing all aspects of freight dispatch and operations management. The company works to generate business for Owner Operators, ensuring a constant stream of business and revenue opportunities. Status Transportation has been operating since 2009 with offices in Orlando, FL, and Atlanta, GA.