While China aims to be ready by the end of 2018, global roll out is expected by 2020.
Ten ports in China are in talks to develop autonomous trucks by the end of 2018, according to the South China Morning Post.
The company behind the drive is TuSimple, a Chinese self-driving truck start-up backed by US-based graphic chip giant Nvidia.
Hao Jiannan, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Executive of TuSimple said: “Autonomous logistics solutions will be more cost efficient for ports. It represents the trend to follow in the future.”
Xue Jiancong, Assistant President of TuSimple, added: “We are preparing for a full commercialisation by 2020.”
Autonomous trucking would provide major efficiency boosts to the global supply chain, with reliability, safety and productivity all promised to increase.
Despite the potential upsides, the autonomous vehicle debate took a blow after a woman was run over and killed by an autonomous car in California, USA, recently.
Further to the fatality, issues have also arisen surrounding the potential job losses given trucking is one of the most common occupations worldwide.
Issues such as this have changed the paradigm in logistics and have led many to debate the economic, social and philosophical impacts of modern autonomous technology.