We are headed north to Portland, Oregon, this week. As we mentioned in a recent blog post, we are verrrry anxious to speak with the folks at Voodoo Doughnut about, oh, wait, we mean the innovative people at Daimler Trucks North America about the future. Last year when we first began researching the subject of freight transportation it became clear that technology was going to provide insights and many potential solutions to the challenges we’re facing. Daimler’s virtual grease monkeys are among the best and brightest when it comes to improving efficiencies and safety on the big rigs rolling down our highways, so Portland, here we come.
We’re interested in learning about systems that can see farther and more clearly, react more quickly, and remain more alert 24/7 than any mere mortal. We want to find out if an autonomous truck is as exciting/scary/innovative/crazy/ dangerous/inspired [pick two] as we’ve heard. We’re anxious to hear how these high-tech machines will handle on our overcrowded, underfunded highways and bridges. We need to know… well… we need to know.
Of course no production trip is complete without talking to a few of the people who are out there bringing us our stuff around the clock – the commercial vehicle operators. This trip we’ll be chatting with the poor souls stuck driving I-5 from the most congested city in the US, Los Angeles, through San Francisco (second most congested) to Seattle (fourth). We can’t wait to hear their thoughts on what they hope the future of trucking will look like.