Autonomous trucks the only alternative to the increasing HGV driver shortage?
Driver Shortages is one of the biggest problems that the haulage industry faces. In this blog, we will talk about using computer-driven trucks as a solution to that problem, as well as other possible alternatives to alleviate the problem.
Self-driving trucks carry many benefits as the solution towards the driver shortage problem. As autonomous trucking is progressing substantially, human drivers are still required to be inside to deal with certain scenarios: such as non-highway driving and interactions to the loading bays. However, with such advancement in technology in the trucking industry creating less stress, it may attract younger and more tech-gifted people.
In addition to less stress and potentially longer work life for thousands of truckers. It may also reduce the number of road accidents. According to the website LTXSolutions, 4,000 people die every year due to trucking accidents. With safer automated driving and fewer accidents, a potential 4,000 lives a year could be saved.
The cost to implement autonomous technology could be too great for some companies and is therefore not a possible solution. However, there may be other alternatives to help solve the driver shortage issue.
Increasing driver’s pay
As there are fewer drivers available, the potential solution of increasing driver’s wages could be the alternative companies are looking for. As the wage increases, the driver retention rate should also increase as well as look more appealing for people to take on the trucking career or return to the industry.
The issue is with the industry as a whole, cost pressures and tight margins may not allow for this.
Reducing the regulated driving age
This may seem drastic, however, if the regulated age was reduced to 18-20 rather than the current 21 years of age this could help solve the problem. With the highest unemployment age bracket now being opened to the trucking industry, the pool of candidates to enter this career would increase monumentally.
Some may worry that the inexperience of driving may lead to further accidents, however, if someone chose this career path; the training and preparation should create drivers of a very high standard.