Flailing toward an 'automated future'? Over the Road reality, more in final episode


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The Over the Road podcast, a co-production of Overdrive and PRX’s Radiotopia podcast network, finished its run of eight main episodes last year with this final episode, titled “The Road Ahead,” in which Overdrive contributing writer and Moeller Trucking driver Paul Marhoefer documented a yogurt haul outbound from the Midwest to Texas and then to the 2019 Great American Trucking Show in Dallas, Texas. There, the OTR crew explored the implications for drivers of new technology in trucking — specifically, the march toward vehicles capable of more autonomous operation. Automation has become a fundamental piece of the way so many think about the future of trucks and trucking, including regulators who seem bent on preparing the way in the name of safety. regular listeners may recall news that aired just a couple weeks ago here in which the new Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator expressed her view that, though the timeline is ultimately unknown, that “automated future,” as some say, is coming. It's unclear, though, given the structure of our highway system, that the American public will ever feel fully comfortable with the notion of sharing the road with 80,000-lb. robots, without an operator therein as capable "overseer," one might say, of the machine. But as more folks are eventually ferried around by wheeled robots themselves, that could be a likely prospect, not to mention the impulses the old dollar-signs-in-the-eye can infect even the most staid among us with. The future looks pretty fuzzy, as it were. Don’t forget to pack your reading glasses. Find all eight of Overdrive Radio's re-air of the Over the Road podcast via http://overdriveonline.com/tag/over-the-road-podcast Subscribe to Overdrive's daily for news updates, views and analysis via http://overdriveonline.com

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