Q&A with Autonomous Transport Visionaries DG World
Automated transport is one thing that gets everyone excited. We’re all desperate to figure out what it means and to get the first glimpse of what the technology and transport of the future will look like. Well, TLME readers are in luck, as the TLME team recently spoke with DG World, a leading autonomous transport provider, about the future of trade and transport.
Greetings, firstly can you tell us why there’s so much hype around autonomous transport and DG World?
Sure, automated transport could create a new age of fast, inexpensive and convenient transportation, with impacts reverberating far beyond the confines of the trucking industry.
We’re seeing gains in efficiency, technological prowess and safety which are in turn changing public policy efforts, creating new jobs and defining the future of work.
This poses some of the biggest and most important business, technological, societal and ethical questions surrounding the modern world. While some shy away from this, it is a massive opportunity for business leaders, technology strategists and public policy proponents to assess how to successfully manage the transition to help leaders navigate the road ahead.
How does the human fit into this new modern autonomous landscape?
The future of work will be based on how well companies blend and extend the abilities of humans and machines by making them collaborative. Companies that have a combination of humans and AI working together can reduce fuel usage and increase run time, creating significant ROI for commercial truck companies.
Where dispatchers of the past successfully managed the personalities and temperaments of their drivers, the work ahead calls for the ability to identify when those same workers are better served handing off duties to machine collaborators. As a direct consequence, ports will increase their competitive advantage making autonomous driving possible at early stage.
To achieve that, different requirements are placed on both the physical and the communication infrastructure.
With the wealth of data in modern systems, how can we keep control?
These are key considerations that we all must bear in mind to ensure self-driving technology will be safe. At DGWorld, we believe with the help of big data analytics, the collected data of autonomous vehicles can be used to implement additional services for users or for government institutions, as well as port authorities.
Such services could include machine-learning applications that can create intelligent traffic control systems, eco-path finders for pollution control and security solutions based on surveillance information.
This is what we are working to develop.
When will this be a reality?
Successful tests in real traffic situations illustrate that the technology is progressing towards readiness. What remains to be seen is how governments and policy will shape the conversation – and most importantly – when everything will be ready for this to launch.
Any regulations should offer a policy prescription for new roles, skills and jobs that are likely to bubble up as a consequence of autonomous trucking in order to fund the transition of staff.
If we’re smart in regulation, more innovation, coupled with “soft-landing” career transitions for drivers and others in the ecosystem will help businesses and society be ready when autonomous trucks are set to drive on the open road.
What can supply chain players do in preparation?
Despite the challenges and concerns, a window of opportunity is emerging for forward-thinking businesses and leaders in the area of autonomous trucking. The progress made provides a vision into how the industry may develop, aided by AI-powered vehicles.
Within that window exists a framework from which businesses reliant on freight transportation can begin working in the here and now to optimize the supply chain for the future.