Technology, when carefully selected and thoughtfully applied, can affect our lives in big, innovative ways. As we continue to develop our own autonomous trucking technology here at Torc, we’re looking towards community betterment, improving accessibility, and a brighter future for all.  

Although the autonomous trucking industry will transform the freight landscape, those transformative results might not always seem obvious. That begs the question: how will autonomous trucking help your community?  

Let’s dive into the day-to-day details behind our self-driven future. 

A Rising Tide Lifts All Ships: Autonomous Trucking and All 

In the past few years, we’ve all gotten up close and personal with how supply chain snags can affect our daily lives. From empty shelves at the grocery store to stressful holiday shopping, we can all cite at least one way the supply chain disruptions have interrupted our day-to-day.  

As autonomous trucks leap out of the future and into the present, we hope to simplify and stabilize the supply chain to prevent these kinds of disruptions before they happen. In the face of global change, autonomous trucking gives us the ability to be proactive rather than reactive. 

Our proactive future starts with regained time. As it stands now, increasing capacity for long-haul routes is one of the biggest challenges facing shipping. By increasing capacity, we can alleviate shipping costs and mitigate some issues caused by a shortage of truck drivers. With the truck driver shortage set to double to 80,000 by 2030, this element of the supply chain is at the forefront of the trucking conversation. 

At Torc Robotics, we’re developing an autonomous trucking solution that’ll work in tandem with conventional trucking operations. First and last mile journeys will be driven manually to select shipping hubs. From there, Torc’s autonomous trucks will make the long journey across highways to other hubs across the country. 

Once self-driving trucks are ready to roll out, it’s likely that human drivers accompanying the vehicle on those long journeys are a thing of the past. Instead, truckers spend their days driving trucks relatively short distances on non-highway roads, performing maintenance, balancing loads, and more. 

The financial savings continue with fuel. The way a vehicle is operated has a huge impact on fuel economy. For instance, someone who brakes often will need to step on the gas pedal more frequently to get back up to speed, resulting in further gas consumption. Contrast that with self-driving trucks, which have the unique ability to manage their speeds with algorithmic precision. With safe and sustainable decision-making built into every aspect of a Torc truck, these freight vehicles will add cost-saving measures to any long-haul drive.  

How might this translate to your everyday life? 

It’s 5PM on a Tuesday. The workday is done, but you need to pick up a few things for dinner. You jump in the car, put the key in the ignition, and pull out onto the city streets. 

Your daily commute has become safer and shorter thanks to autonomous trucking. Trucks can run outside of peak hours, meaning that long-haul trucks are rarely adding to the congestion at the busiest times of day. Besides that, driverless trucks aren’t subject to safety issues like drowsy driving, distracted driving, and moredon’t get tired. Less safety issues mean fewer accidents, fewer deaths, and safer conditions overall. This is fantastic news for everyone – you included.  

Once you arrive at the grocery store, you park your car and head inside. Thanks to self-driving trucks and resulting reduced logistics costs, the prices of your usual staples are pretty stable. In a lot of cases, costs have even gone down. Either way, your grocery bill is rarely full of surprises. 

Thanks to the time regained in the autonomous future, you don’t see too many empty shelves these days. From baking supplies to the cream cheese shelf, stores are rarely out of something due to a supply chain issue. In the unlikely event that your store is out, autonomous trucking means that shelves can be restocked faster than ever. 

Autonomy’s Community Impact: Grandma 

Grandma comes from a long line of transportation professionals, and much of her family currently works in the autonomous trucking industry. Back in her day, being in the long-haul trucking business meant long hours, fleeting phone calls home, and a host of other difficulties. Chronic truck driver shortages were prevalent in nearly every part of the country, meaning that minor problems were often exacerbated by pure lack of staffing. 

Since then, the industry has changed in incredible ways. The introduction of autonomous trucking has meant that her freight-focused family members work a sustainable amount of hours. The number of fatalities in trucking has also been vastly reduced, setting Grandma’s mind at ease even when her loved ones are off at work. At dinnertime, her table is packed with family and friends alike – and not just during offseason. 

On weekends, Grandma can also enjoy reduced-traffic rides on her motorcycle. As she says, she was born to ride and rides to live. Through the innovation behind self-driving trucks, her own weekend adventures have gotten a whole lot safer.  

Autonomy’s Community Impact: Your Local Coffee Shop 

Even the choosiest of coffee connoisseurs agree that your local coffee shop’s coffee is miles above the stuff that the big chains serve. The owner says that it’s because they spring for the highest quality beans and the best distributors. With the help of autonomous trucks, the best distributors just got a whole lot better. 

Coffee’s complicated supply chain process has been simplified through the addition of autonomous trucking. From transporting the harvested beans from the field to the processing station, to sending the coffee cherries to the milling farms, all the way to shipping the roasted beans to coffee shops themselves, the autonomous trucking industry has added speed and efficiency to the whole process.  

When customers come to the coffee shop counter, hot cups of joe are always available: no logistics shortages here. Autonomous trucks and their future effects on shipping will allow small business like this coffee shop to stay flexible, resilient, and robust.  

An Autonomously Illuminated Future 

The effects of future autonomous trucking might seem subtle, but its possibilities are endless. From stabilizing the supply chain to keeping transportation professionals safe, this technology will allow us to create an accessible, efficient, and bright tomorrow.  

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