This article discusses the issues surrounding blowouts, and how autonomous trucks might handle the problem. Blowouts occur fairly frequently, though tire manufacturers are making better tires as time goes by. Drivers can usually use their ‘feel’ of the truck to navigate to a safe place to take care of the tire. How would an autonomous truck do it.
The article notes that this problem is one of the top five remaining problems for autonomous navigation.
Blowouts are not a major source of highway deaths. But they occur frequently. All the major tire manufacturers are working on means to control them. Sensors are the main approach. Progress in this area will benefit both driverless and people-driven trucks.
Here we see a day in the life of a package delivery driver for Veho, which seems to be an enlightened last-mile delivery company that is actively trying to make work friendlier to the driver. The system they have developed tries to take into account driver needs as well as those of the customer and the shipper.
One of the major factors involved in keeping a workforce today is giving workers input and making the workplace friendly for them.
Veho seems to be using that principle to drive their business. Let’s hope it is successful for them.
One downside of this approach is the need for a depot where the packages are brought before the routing is done. That’s a capital expense that not all services will want to implement. It also slows up expansion into new markets, since the warehouse sites must be found and built out. However, the depot is key to the optimization for all the involved parties, including the driver.
More heartbreak for truckers, especially owner-operators.
Many small businesses turn to factors to handle one of the messiest jobs, invoicing and collecting from customers. Factors collect a percentage for each transaction, and often advance the money to the trucker before it’s collected. It costs the trucker some of her earnings, but the money is available right away, and the factor handles the arguments with the shippers.
But when a factoring firm, such as CoreFund Capital, goes bankrupt, truckers who have not received funds for their invoices are out of luck. They have to stand in line with other creditors, waiting for a court to approve payment.
That means they don’t have cash for immediate expenses such as fuel, even though they have already completed work they have not been paid for. Some cash flow problem, right?
And there isn’t much that can be done. The contracts that included use of CoreFund for payment have to be broken (by a court or receiver) before alternatives can be put in place.
The firm is owned by some brothers, and a family feud may be behind the collapse. Let’s hope the truckers get paid soon.