Driverless cars and trucks are the newest thing in vehicle technology.  Although the concept is still in development, as currently cars are still being accompanied by a ‘driver’ in the passenger seat in case of malfunction, the technology and capabilities are well on their way.  This new technology could not only mean driverless cars for consumers, but as well as proposed driverless Trucks between Mexico and Manitoba.  The concept is being proposed by Marlo Anderson, of the Central North American Trade Corridor Association.

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By having driverless trucks that are hauling cargo between the three countries would allow for faster deliveries as there would be no driver requiring breaks to sleep, eat, etc.  It would also mean that there would be no need for passports or visas to be issued. No new road would need to be constructed as Route 83 already runs from Texas to North Dakota, and then continues into Canada, and more specifically Manitoba.

Are Robots going to take over our vehicles?

Yes – and its a good thing.

Driverless Truck
Daimer last year unveiled a prototype truck called Future Truck 2025, which has a driverless option. It aims to bring driverless trucks to market by 2025. Photograph: Daimler AG

Not only would this driverless mode of transportation be faster, but it would also mean that transportation of specific commodities would become more efficient.  Currently there is a lot of production in North Dakota, with not enough abilities to transport the goods. With the ability to transport oil through the pipelines would mean that the grain produced would need alternate modes of transportation.  As well, by having driverless vehicles, would remove any human error that would normally occur on the road.

With all of the advantages of driverless vehicles, there are several disadvantages that would have the be hashed out prior to implementation.  Firstly, there would be the potential for the vehicle to be hacked, or rerouted easily, if there is no individual ensuring the transportation from point A to point B.  As well, this implementation would also eliminate jobs for current truck drives who rely on the job to support their families.

Driverless vehicles are more efficient, Anderson suggests

“One of the challenges we have here in North Dakota is that we have a lot of energy production going on right now, but not enough pipelines to carry the oil from North Dakota to its destination point…We’re hopeful that, working with the Canadian government, the Mexican government, the United States, we can create some kind of automated way … (to) streamline that process of border crossings.”

– Marlo Anderson

Roy Ludwig, who is currently the Mayor of Estevan in Saskatchewan near the border between Canada and the US, attended the summit held by the association and supports the idea of the project.  He believes that there are a lot of specific details that need to be solved prior to implementation, as well as educating the public about the process.  Finally, this project would definitely improve trade between Mexico, the United States and Canada.

[via CBC, with files from the Canadian Press]

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