A.I. Programs To Replace Very High Paying Professional Driving Jobs.
In the U.S. there are currently an estimated 3.5 million professional truck drivers and if you include all of associated jobs the number is over 8 million. Direct truck driving jobs pay somewhere between $37,000 to $57,000 per year for long haul gigs.
Human truck drivers require training, frequent rest stops, health care, dental care and expect a raise every year. They also are prone to mistakes that lead to costly accidents and speeding tickets. A.I. development is very close to making all of these jobs obsolete.
Mercedes is leading the development of autonomous truck science. With the addition of well placed sensors and the latest in artificial intelligence software, self driving trucks are just around the corner.
In 2014, the Mercedes-Benz Future Truck 2025 showed that autonomous driving is technologically feasible. In 2015, they started to test autonomous trucks on public highways in Germany. In March 2016, they connected three autonomous trucks to a platoon. Advancements are moving very quickly. The program is called Actros.
The technology is by no way limited to trucks. It is also being developed for Mercedes for the huge bus market. The U.S. bureau of labor statistics estimate that there are over 500,000 bus drivers employed.
The Future Bus drives completely autonomously at speeds of up to 70 km/h.
The Future Bus operates at semi-automated level two of the five levels on the way to autonomous driving: it stays on course and is capable of linear guidance as well as acceleration and braking manoeuvres on the basis of networked assistance systems.
In technical terms, the CityPilot is closely related to the Highway Pilot of the Mercedes-Benz Actros. However, the city bus has greater capabilities than the truck. New on board features include immensely important functions for city traffic, such as traffic-light recognition, pedestrian recognition, centimetric precision when approaching bus stops and semi-automated driving through tunnels.
10 cameras monitor the traffic feed real world real time data to the A.I. programs
All this is made possible by a sheer wealth of precise high-tech sensors. No less than ten high-resolution cameras in different systems share the task of comprehensively monitoring the area ahead of the city bus. The signals of the short and long-range radar systems are fused to provide precise data which are in turn constantly compared with the stored values.
There is also Vehicle2 Infrastructure communication by WLAN:
The Mercedes-Benz Future Bus is networked with the ultra-modern traffic-light system on Amsterdam’s BRT system (BRT = Bus Rapid Transit). In this way the city bus of the future becomes at one with its environment, not only because of its future-oriented interior and exterior design, but also thanks to the technology it uses to travel in its lane and communicate with its surroundings in real time.
From an engineering perspective or even as a passenger or consumer this technology is a big step forward.
As a truck or bus driver I would be very concerned.