Transportation Systems Casebook/Automated Trucks


Autonomous trucks have developed from a long line of trucking innovations over the last 120 years, from originally being automobile haulers to being fully automated and delivering 2,000 cases of Budweiser 120 miles. This wave of the future within the shipping and distribution industry involves a significant amount of planning at many state and local government levels in regards to many different policy issues. Technology (i.e. V2V, V2I, and V2P) being one of the key issues within this development, and sets the tone for other areas such as; safety, employment, training and licensing, environment and energy, and regulations. Automated trucks are relatively new, however, researchers suggest that the impact will be substantial within the logistics industry in regards to areas such as; fuel efficiency, human error that cause accidents (which will decrease damages to consumer products carried), and labor costs by cutting out the need for human drivers. With continuous improvement, it is safe to say that there are more lessons to be learned within the automated truck industry and Self-Driving Trucks Are Going to Hit Us Like a Human-Driven Truck.[1]

Annotated List of ActorsEdit

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)

  • NHTSA was established by the Highway Safety Act of 1970 and is dedicated to achieving the highest standards of excellence in motor vehicle and highway safety. It works daily to help prevent crashes and their attendant costs, both human and financial.[2]

Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)

  • FHWA provides stewardship over the construction, maintenance, and preservation of the Nation's highways, bridges, and tunnels. FHWA also conducts research and provides technical assistance to state and local agencies in an effort to improve safety, mobility, and livability, and to encourage innovation.[3]

United States Department of Transportation

  • The mission of the USDOT is to serve the United States by ensuring a fast, safe, efficient, accessible and convenient transportation system that meets our vital national interests and enhances the quality of life of the American people, today and into the future.[4]
    • Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
      • The FMCSA was created on January 1, 2000 as part of the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999 under the USDOT. Its primary mission of the FMCSA is to reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities involving large trucks and buses.[5]

American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA)

  • The AAMVA is a tax-exempt, nonprofit organization developing model programs in motor vehicle administration, law enforcement and highway safety. The association also serves as an information clearinghouse in these areas, and acts as the international spokesman for these interests. Founded in 1933, AAMVA represents the state and provincial officials in the United States and Canada who administer and enforce motor vehicle laws. AAMVA’s programs encourage uniformity and reciprocity among the states and provinces. The association also serves as a liaison with other levels of government and the private sector. Its development and research activities provide guidelines for more effective public service. AAMVA’s membership includes associations, organizations and businesses that share an interest in the association’s goals.[6]

Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

  • The FTC filed a comment on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) advance notice of proposed rulemaking related to vehicle-to-vehicle communications. As the lead federal agency charged with protecting consumer privacy, the FTC in its comment expresses support for NHTSA’s deliberative, process-based approached to addressing privacy and security risks, which includes a privacy risk assessment. The comment also commends NHTSA for designing a V2V system to limit the data collected and stored to only that which serves its intended safety purpose.[7]

National Traffic Safety Board (NTSB)

  • The NTSB is an independent Federal agency charged by Congress with investigating every civil aviation accident the United States and significant accidents in other modes of transportation – railroad, highway, marine and pipeline. The NTSB determines the probable cause of the accidents and issues safety recommendations aimed at preventing future accidents. In addition, the NTSB carries out special studies concerning transportation safety and coordinates the resources of the Federal Government and other organizations to provide assistance to victims and their family members impacted by major transportation disasters.[8]

State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMVs)

  • (For example) The Virginia DMV's responsibilities include vehicle titling and registration, driver licensing and maintenance of driver and vehicle records. The agency also monitors the state's trucking industry and serves as the state's Highway Safety Office. In addition, the agency effectively enforces motoring and transportation-related tax laws, and efficiently collects and distributes transportation-related revenues.[9]

Law Enforcement

  • Customs & Border Protection (CBP)
    • CBP rules and regulations will have to address the stopping and searching of autonomous vehicles. The technology will need to be able to recognize and communicate at border crossings.
  • State and Highway Patrols
    • Domestic law enforcement will need to be able to communicate with autonomous vehicles if there are ever any needs for citing traffic violations (i.e. speeding, broken lights, etc.).

Developers of Automated Vehicle Technology

  • Peloton Technology
    • Peloton is an automated vehicle technology company working to reduce crashes and enhance fuel mileage in trucking. Their technology connects trucks using direct Vehicle to Vehicle (V2V) communications that allow the non-lead truck to react immediately to the actions of the truck in front of it. This collision mitigation system constantly deploys radar sensors to detect stopped or slowed vehicles ahead of the truck to alert the driver and apply brakes when needed.[10]
  • Daimler Trucks
    • Manufactured the first licensed autonomous commercial truck in May 2015 to operate on an open public highway in the United States, called the Freightliner Inspiration Truck.[11]


  • Founded in 1903, the Teamsters mission is to organize and educate workers towards a higher standard of living. There are currently 1.4 million members under 21 Industrial Divisions that include virtually every occupation imaginable, both professional and non professional, private sector and public sector.[12]
    • Teamsters - Freight Division
      • The Freight Division represents the interests of more than 75,000 Teamsters members from approximately 200 local unions. Freight employees include truck drivers, dockworkers, mechanics, and office personnel. On a daily basis, the Freight Division coordinates National Grievance Panels, Regional Grievance Panels, change of operations, and negotiations of individual contracts. The Freight Division also responds to questions from members and local unions concerning worker benefits, equipment safety, grievances, change of operation, and organizing new members. The Division works closely with other departments to further the interests of freight members.[13]

American Trucking Association (ATA)

  • ATA is the largest national trade association for the trucking industry. Through a federation of 50 affiliated state trucking associations and industry-related conferences and councils.[14]

Training Programs for Truck Drivers

  • Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI)
    • Since 1986, the PTDI has been working with the carriers, truck driver training schools, insurance industry, and government to make safety a national #1 priority in the trucking industry. PTDI is the first nonprofit organization to develop uniform skill performance, curriculum, and certification standards for the trucking industry and to award course certification to entry-level truck driver training courses and motor carrier driver-finishing programs. Our goals are to advance truck driver training, proficiency, and professionalism and to put quality drivers on the roads. PTDI works with carriers and schools throughout the certification process to obtain national recognition that their programs meet these standards. PTDI has been certifying entry-level truck driver training courses since 1989.[15]

Correlated Businesses

  • Truck stops, hotels, restaurants, and other services that have built up around freight traffic have a vested interest in the continuation of truck driving, and will have to integrate autonomous vehicles into their operations.

Timeline of EventsEdit

1898: Alexander Winton from Cleveland Ohio invented the Semi-Truck in 1898 calling it the "Automobile Hauler." [16]

1899: Winton Motor Carriage started the manufacturing the "Automobile Hauler" for its own use and for other automobile manufacturers. [17]

1914: August Charles Fruehauf incorporated the "Freuhauf Trailer Company" and developed the carriage semi trailer. [18]

1939: Company in Tacoma Washington called "Peterbilt" began selling its semi-trucks. [19]

1942: Industries first commercial vehicle with an all-aluminum cab debuts and is called the "shovelnose." [20]

1950: Freightliner sells the first trans-continental cab-over-engine sleeper to a company named "Hyster" that could haul a 35 ft trailer. [21]

1953: Freightliner introduced the first overhead sleeper in the model WF64 for long haul operations in order to meet federal laws and restrictions. [22]

1966: In cooperation with Cummins develops a prototype dolly in order to carry doubles and triples through the mountain passes with application of the brakes slowing down the trailer. [23]

1974: Air ride suspension was developed and patented in order to give drivers on the road a more comfortable ride and to mitigate wear and tear on tractor trailers on the roads and highways. [24]

1982: The Surface Transportation Act of 1982 is established to address many issues in the transportation industry in order to standardize truck size and weight limits bringing national consistency to regulations for the first time. [25]

2013: A coal mining company named "Rio Tinto" moved 100 million tons of coal by April. [26]

2015: Nevada grants first license to operate an autonomous truck on public roads in the United States to Daimler Trucks North America.[27]

2016: United States DOT issues Federal policy for automated vehicles, setting clear expectations for development and deployment by manufacturers and identifying Federal and State roles for regulation. [28]

2016: Otto truck (owned now by Uber after a $680 million dollar purchase) drives 2,000 cases of Budweiser beer on 120 mile journey without a driver and full automation.[29]

Maps of LocationsEdit

States with Enacted Autonomous Vehicles Legislation

U.S. Interstate Highway System

Clear Identification of Policy IssuesEdit

Technology - Development of technology includes tools that ensure safe and accurate vehicle operation. The primary considerations for technology fall into the following categories: vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V), vehicle-to-infrastructure and vehicle-to pedestrian (V2P). Comprehensively, in the United States, the communication between the vehicle and any other entity is referred to as vehicle-to-anything or V2X. Overarching concerns for V2X communication systems include the use of the wireless spectrum, device verification (see Security section for more information), real time environment capacity, system updates and the end-of-life for DSRC systems or other needed technology/equipment. The debate is ongoing whether V2X should run on its own platform due to the fear of interference and over saturation, or whether current platforms (wireless, 3G, 4G, etc.) should be used. Real-time communication is also of concern. The threshold of all systems is unknown concerning message receipt and delivery. For instance, in a congested interstate, how many vehicles can be present and communicating effectively at one time, without error? Technology updates are being considered, as well. It is difficult to predict the extent of user acceptance for implementing these updates. If updates occur automatically, it will increase the ability for systems to stay current and maintain cross-communication, however, if the vehicles need to be taken into the dealer or the infrastructure equipment needs to be replaced/manually updated, this cause risk to accuracy and effectiveness between systems. Furthermore, the life cycle of the technology being used is unknown. What will the process be when the technology needs to be replaced?[30]

  • Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) - V2V communications refers to a system designed to transmit basic safety information between vehicles to facilitate warning to drivers concerning impending crashes. V2V communication components include on-board sensors, cameras and radar applications. These components address crash avoidance and crashworthiness to ensure safety of the vehicle, the operator/passengers, surrounding infrastructure, other vehicles, other operators/passengers and pedestrians. On-board communications utilize dedicated short-range radio communication devices (DSRC) to transmit messages regarding vehicle speed, vehicle heading, brake status, etc. to other vehicles. In turn, through DSRC other vehicles transmit messages back with complimentary information. V2V communication is being developed by multiple companies and countries. To avoid limitations by heterogeneous technology, there is pressure to the development industry to create fused systems that have the capacity to communicate with each other and that use an identical or nearly identical messaging language. Similar to differences in spoken languages, variation in V2X communication can cause errors, in turn increasing the possibility of accidents. Additional in-vehicle components of V2V systems are memory, gps receivers, safety application electronic control units, driver-vehicle interfaces, and the vehicle's internal communications network.[31]
  • Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) - V2I communications refers to a system designed to transmit information between the vehicle and infrastructure to include safety information, location information, and information regarding other vehicles, traffic congestion, etc. To support a connected vehicle core system architecture, the architecture of the system includes dynamic mobility applications to provide real-time traffic info, road weather applications, and real time information synthesis safety for machine to machine communication (Aeris). There are numerous considerations that V2I communications must encompass. Some of these considerations include: Signal priority for transit and emergency vehicles, roadway maintenance, density of pedestrian traffic, traffic signal timing, red light violation warning, curve speed warning, reduced speed zone warning, stop sign gap assist, stop sign violation warning, weather information, oversized vehicle warning, etc.[32]
  • Vehicle-to-Pedestrian (V2P) - V2P communications refers to a system designed to transmit information between the vehicle and pedestrians. This includes safety information and location information. Vehicle-to-pedestrian communication is a debated development. Unlike a vehicle or the surrounding infrastructure, permanent hardware component(s) with an embedded communications system are not feasible. Some solutions to provide the vehicle, infrastructure and pedestrian with safety and location information, beyond identification through radar or cameras, include having the pedestrian utilize a wireless equipped device, such as a cellphone, to send and receive information.[33]

Environment and Energy - The impending impact on the environment and energy from the conversion of standard automobiles to highly autonomous vehicles (HAVs) is difficult to predict with complete accuracy, however, there will undoubtedly be an impact to fuel economy, traffic congestion, and carbon emissions. Seeing the full benefit to our environment and the impact on energy conservation will not be fully realized until wide-spread adoption of automated vehicles and automated trucking occurs. This is not anticipated to occur until, at least, 2035.[34]

  • Fuel Economy - For automated trucks, specifically, fuel economy will improve significantly as adoption of automated trucks grows. Truck platooning is one means of improving fuel economy. This allows trucks to travel "together" with a distance of 30 feet between vehicles. Platooning minimizes shifts in gears, de/acceleration, unnecessary stopping, unnecessary idling. Depending on the experience of a non-automated truck driver, the type of transmission (manual, automatic-manual or automatic), and surrounding operators, fuel economy is greatly decreased. In addition to platooning, the incorporation of autonomous technology in heavy vehicles, like tractor-trailers, could cause a decrease in weight due to a transition to either automatic transmission or, more likely, electric trucks. Trucks and cars alike, during the autonomous transition, are expected to spur a transition to lighter, electric vehicles.[35]
  • Traffic Congestion - Traffic congestion could be decreased by automated vehicles, as a whole. There is an expectation that automated vehicles will increase a desire to pursue ride sharing, decreasing the amount of vehicles on the road. However, the reduction in cost and accessibility of transportation by automated vehicles, once fully implemented, may contrarily, increase demand. This may also cause a preference for consumers to use automated vehicles through private operating or ride sharing, rather than using current transit modes (metro, bus, etc.). The demand for trucking for trade and commerce is increasing. Currently, the cost and the shortage of qualified drivers imposes limitations to this increasing demand. Once automated trucks are available nation-wide, the reduction in cost and elimination of needing a qualified operator, this demand can be fulfilled. This opportunity will cause an increase in traffic congestion by automated trucks. Exploration in constructing lanes solely for automated truck traffic is underway, but this is costly, and not guaranteed.[36]
  • Carbon Emissions - Carbon emissions will be reduced through automated trucking by reducing idling time. Also, if a transition to electric trucks ensues, fuel use and carbon emissions will be further reduced.[37]

Training and Licensing - Training vehicle manufacturers, technology developers, infrastructure engineers, state DoTs/DMVs/law enforcement, key federal players (DoT, NHTSA, FHWA, etc.), drivers and pedestrians on automated technology will be an enormous learning curve for many. Today's society is becoming more and more technologically dependent and familiar. Human machine interface (HMI) concerning automated vehicles is still of great concern, despite the increased technology capacity in our society. Licensing for vehicles will evolve, or depending on an individual's perspective, digress to a state where the driver in the vehicle knows how to operate the technology, but not the vehicle itself. What will this transition look like for automated trucks, the majority of current drivers requiring a Class A Commercial Driver's License? Along with training on the technology, the industry is concerned with consumer acceptance, as well.[38]

  • Training - At this time, training on automated technology is through model programs, publications, and industry and global partnerships. In order to develop systems that can interact with one another nationally and globally, communication between key players is essential. Autonomous vehicles will be safer, more reliable and more effective if there is shared communication between organizations and nations. One example of training and learning through partnership is seen in the relationship between the U.S. DoT and the European Commission. They have been working together in order to develop V2V that is cooperative between systems. Model programs for automated vehicles and automated trucks are limited to a handful of states. Nevada is one of the leading states in innovation and policy for automated trucking. It is the first state with a licensed automated, electric truck through Daimler Corporation. The lessons learned from this state's initiatives are thoroughly documented. Resulting policy and publications have been available, to some extent, for other entities to research and learn from, continuing training in V2V communication and deployment. There has also been a push for federally developed training. The DoT has established an ITS Joint Program Office (ITS-JPO) that produces curriculum in support of Professional Capacity Building (PCB). The curriculum currently available is meant to enhance professionals' and the public's understanding of V2V systems, V2I systems, system deployment, challenges, and current/future applicable issues for automated vehicles. They have ITS training modules, "Talking Technology in Transportation (T3)" webinars, conferences, workshops, web-based and classroom courses. Globally and nationally, conferences and workshops have been established. For example, the inaugural Automated Vehicles Symposium supported through the Transportation Research Board (TRB) and Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) occurred in 2012.[39]
  • Licensing - Licensing on automated trucks has not been solidified. There are several considerations to licensing an operator on a fully autonomous truck. Tractor-trailers are combination vehicles which fall under a Class A license for certification. This license is further specialized if the cargo being carried is hazardous, with a hazardous endorsement and restricted depending on the components of the vehicle (air brakes, manual v. automatic transmission, etc.) and areas of authorization (intrastate v. interstate). There is a national minimum requirement for licensing on a Class A vehicle developed by the American Association for Motor Vehicle Administrators and approved by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the DoT. Requirements include written tests (General Knowledge, Air Brakes, Combination Vehicle, Tank (if applicable), Hazardous Material (if applicable)), a practical application (vehicle inspection, basic control skills test (backing/parking), and a road test). Testing is administered through state DMVs. As society transitions to automated vehicles, the requirements for an operator will be reduced and the requirements for the vehicle and the vehicle's technology will increase.[40] Requirements have not been established yet. The DoT will need to determine: how to test the operator on the technology; if, how and to what extent the operator will be expected to maintain an understanding of the operation of the vehicle as a fail safe; if, how, and to what extent to restrict the vehicle and/or operator based on cargo type, vehicle type, interstate/intrastate transit, vehicle components. The timeline to transition the certification process is also imperative. Age consideration and operator hours/training will be evaluated too. Right now, an individual must be 21 years of age to hold a Class A license (pilot in place to allow 18 to 21 year olds operate). Because the transition to automated trucks will not be immediate, there will be a need to maintain the current certification process and new certification process until a full transition has occurred. What impacts will this have on workload? What impacts will this have on law enforcement and commerce regulation of trucking?[41]

Regulation - Key players have identified the need for national regulation to regulate automated vehicles. Like the development of previous modes of transportation (railroad, mass transit, automobiles, etc.) navigating the roles of federal government v. state government and the roles of public v. private authority is a challenge. The lanes of authority cross due to overarching issues such as public safety, public security, liability, and commerce.

  • Federal v. State - The beginnings of researching and developing automated infrastructure and vehicles can be linked back to the 1990s with the introduction of the Automated Highway System (AHS) later renamed to the Intelligent Vehicle Highway System (IVHS), now known as the Intelligent Transportation System (ITS). In correlation with the 1991 Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA), $600 million dollars supported researching this initiative, subsequently averaging $100 million annually, in the following years. The federal government has a vested interest in autonomous vehicles and infrastructure due to public safety expectations. This interest progressed with the 1997 Intelligent Vehicle Initiative, the 2003 Vehicle Infrastructure Integrity Initiative, and the 2006 Crash Avoidance Metrics Partnership (CAMP), to name a few. For trucks, or heavy vehicles, V2V technology is expected to address 81 percent of crash causes and V2I technology is expected to address 15 percent of crash causes, averaging to 79% of causes identified by the 2009 DoT Crash Analysis Report. This could significantly reduce the amount of accidents where a truck is involved. [42]

DoT and the Federal Government are responsible for regulating motor vehicles and motor vehicle equipment. NHTSA is responsible for: setting Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) for new motor vehicles and motor vehicle equipment; enforcing FMVSS compliance; investigating and managing the recall and remedy of non-compliance and safety-related motor vehicle defects and recalls on a nationwide basis; communicating with and educating the public about motor vehicle safety issues; and issuing guidance for vehicle and equipment manufacturers to follow. In September 2016, the U.S. DoT released the Federal Automated Vehicle Policy. This was a major step in providing regulation during the development stage of automated technology, rather than post-development. Although it does not address all concerns, or provide an answer to all challenges, it shows the initiative of the federal government to play an active and proactive role in automated vehicle deployment.[43]

States are responsible for regulating the human driver and most other aspects of motor vehicle operation. This includes: licensing (human) drivers and registering motor vehicles in their jurisdictions; enacting and enforcing traffic laws and regulations; conducting safety inspections where states choose to do so; and regulating motor vehicle insurance and liability. Once licensing applies primarily to the technology, not the operator, the federal government will set the minimum requirements for vehicles and equipment. Right of way concerning infrastructure will be overseen by the federal government, but more than likely, as with current policy, states will hold responsibility for maintenance and development in their jurisdiction. State policy for automated vehicles will be subordinate to federal regulation, however, this has not prevented states from being proactive in developing policy, as well. States like Nevada, Washington, D.C., Arizona and California have been among the first states to develop policy (2011-2015) for licensing and permitting automated vehicles.[44]

  • Public v. Private - The main discussion involving authority between public and private industry is related to the automobile, technology, equipment and infrastructure manufacturers. Because the federal government will determine minimum requirements for safety and security of autonomous vehicles and technology in autonomous trucks and the manufacturers must produce and test their equipment according to these standards, there has to be a means of oversight. With current automobile production, there is oversight by the federal government. The expectation is the same for autonomous vehicles. The point of contention will lie in the privacy of proprietary information regarding the technology. All companies will be required to meet the same standard and capacity to communicate between different makes/models and equipment/communications systems. This will limit the growth of some companies in technology innovation and raise the expectation to share developments. The second area of concern lies in the ability of companies to test the new technology. Will the companies test the technology on their own or will independent test facilities need to be made? Also, concerning oversight of technology and data, will the government monitor this or will an independent, third party? There are various risks and conflicts of interest involved with either approach.[45]

Safety and Insurance - Automated trucking and automated vehicle promotion over the past two decades has been greatly fueled by its promise to increase safety on the road, and reduce deaths and injuries by vehicular accidents. According to the DoT Crash Analysis Report, automated technology is expected to address 79% of accident causes contributing to accidents where a commercial truck is involved. Despite the probability of automated trucking meeting this predicted expectation in increasing safety standards, the risk that it will not and the risk involved with trusting a new technology has caused a concern for insurance companies. Determining who will agree to provide insurance and how much the bill will cost to do so is a significant hurdle that will need to be overcome before automated trucking is widely accepted. Concerning regulation of safety concerns, requirements and system updates; the DoT in conjunction with NHTSA will be the primary developers and regulators of the safety standards. All involved in manufacturing, sale and purchase will hold a role in ensuring safety standards are met and maintained, as well.[46]

Legal and Ethical - Legal and ethical concerns with automated vehicles will affect numerous entities from insurance companies, to the car manufacturer, the seller, the driver and the software developer. The software will need to be programmed to make ethical decisions usually left to humans' discernment. For example, if an automated truck is in a scenario where it will either collide with another vehicle or be forced off an on ramp, what will the software program the vehicle to do? There is continued argument whether this ethical choice should be determined at the federal level or by the actual manufacturer of the software.[47]

Privacy and Security - Privacy and security of this new technology is essential. For automated trucks, carrying cargo, and being of significant size to cause a robust amount of damage, if privacy or security are compromised, the effects could be devastating. Already written into policy is the prevention of individual or vehicle data tracking using the technology, by companies, the government, states, authorities, etc. Also, privacy intrusion through this technology is prohibited. The details of regulating privacy and security have not been solidified, nor have the repercussions for occurrences. The complex technology also generates several characteristics that translate into a vulnerability: powerful capacity (data rate capabilities/computation/storage), high mobility (difficult nodes prediction), dynamic network topology (data can join and leave the system quickly), time sensitivity/latency (to ensure safety, the data needs to be received in a timely manner), sufficient energy (resource rich devices with complex algorithms), physical protection required, wireless communication, heterogenous technologies, heterogeneous operating environments. These characteristics are researched and utilized advantageously by attackers.[48] Attackers fall into three general categories:

  • Active v. Passive - Active attackers seek to harm the system nodes directly. Typically, these attackers are insiders, who have internal access to the system. Passive attackers seek information acquisition between the system nodes, typically to prepare for an attack through research and pattern identification. Passive attackers are usually outsiders, external to the system.[49]
  • External v. Internal - External attackers do not have authorization or authentication to access the system. Internal attackers have authorization and/or authentication to enter the system.[50]
  • Malicious v. Rational - Malicious attackers do not have a specific target. Rational attackers have a specific target.[51]

ITS attacks could include attacks on availability, identification and authenticity, confidentiality and privacy, integrity and data trust and non-repudiation and accountability. Examples of availability attacks on ITS are: denial of service, jamming, broadcast tampering, black hole, malware, spamming, etc. Examples of identification and authenticity attacks include: man in the middle attack, replay, GPS spoofing, position faking, masquerading, key/certification replication, etc. Examples of confidentiality and privacy attacks include: eavesdropping, traffic analysis, information gathering, etc. Examples of integrity and data trust include: message tampering, message suppression and alteration, etc. Examples of non-repudiation and accountability attacks include: loss of event traceability, wormhole, etc.[52]

In order to combat all attackers to automated trucks, V2X needs to incorporate: user, source, and location authentication; traceability and revocation authority; data integrity; privacy and anonymity for the user and the vehicle; availability and real time capabilities of data; non-repudiation or unique association of an ITS entity; robustness versus external attackers. Security mechanisms to meet the intent of these requirements include: encryption on sensitive messages; randomizing traffic patters; message signatures; trusted hardware modules; active detection systems; message signature and other integrity metrics for content delivery; certificate accompanying message signature; check mechanisms; pseudo-random frequency hopping; unsinkability ID-based systems for user privacy.[53]

Employment - The current trucking industry driver workforce is decreasing. It is an aging industry. By 2022, it is predicted that the U.S. will be short around 240,000 truck drivers. At the same time, the American Trucking Association estimates that there are approximately 3.5 million truckers currently working. Automated trucks, once wide-spread, will eliminate the need for commercial drivers to operate the vehicle. This will assist in mitigating the anticipated driver shortage, increasing the ability to meet the growing shipping demand. It will also leave millions without jobs, or with a significant decrease in salary. It will be some time before there is no human behind the wheel of a tractor-trailer. This is, in part, attributed to public acceptance. Reasonably so, most individuals are not prepared to see a tractor-trailer traveling on the interstate without a human being in the vehicle. Also, companies who are shipping their product will need reassurance on its security before buying into this technology, despite the potential cost savings and increased throughput. Additionally, there is argument for always having an individual behind the wheel for cargo security, technology monitoring, and maintenance issues, etc. The "driver" wage is expected to decrease, along with the minimum age requirement, with transition to automated technology. Employment supporting infrastructure and technology for automated trucks will increase, but the majority of current truck drivers do not have an engineering or information technology background. Again, truck drivers are an aging workforce. Widespread implementation of automated trucks is not expected until 2035. A significant portion of older drivers will have aged out of the system at this point. Arguably, it may add value to train today's younger generation of truck drivers to support the industry through IT/customer service opportunities.[54]

Trade - Nearly 70% of all freight tonnage moved in the U.S. trucking is transported by trucks according to the American Trucking Association. Automated trucking can ameliorate barriers in fulfilling the industry's freight throughput to include: strict hours of service regulations placed on truck drivers; fuel deficiency; speed deficiency; need for safety; and the increasing driver shortage. Alleviating these barriers hold the potential for improving commerce. At the same time, considerations regarding insurance for the commodities being shipped; the process of documentation; obtaining signatures for ownership; safeguarding the freight; etc. need to be made.[55]

Narrative of the CaseEdit

Over the past decade, if not longer, automakers and tech companies have spent billions of dollars in an attempt to bring autonomous vehicles to the United States’ roads. Several states have introduced legislation to allow testing on their roads [citation], and Ford has promised to deliver a mass-produced, fully-autonomous vehicle for ride-sharing service by 2021[5]. Perhaps one of the first proposed applications of autonomous vehicles was to the trucking industry. As with any issue, there are positives and negatives to automated trucking, and advocates have emerged on both sides.

An analysis by the American Transportation Research Institute (ARTI) in 2013 found that the driver-based costs of trucking accounted for about one-third of all marginal costs for motor carriers[3]. Other estimates may vary, but it is clear that there are significant savings to be had for carriers if trucks become driverless. There could also be savings for carriers in the form of time. Currently, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration mandates that drivers of property-carrying vehicles can only drive for 14 consecutive hours, and only after 10 consecutive hours off-duty[6]. Driverless trucks would not be forced to take mandatory rest periods, and could drive for many more hours. The ARTI study also found fuel costs to be a significant portion of marginal costs for carriers, at around 38%[3]. This figure may have been reduced in recent years, as the average price of diesel fuel dropped over a dollar per gallon from 2013 to 2015[4]. However, there remains potential for carriers to realize savings, as driverless trucks unencumbered by limits on hours can travel at slower, more fuel-efficient speeds. Finally, perhaps the most important advantage of automation in trucking would be improved safety. In 2014, there were 3660 fatalities in crashes involving large trucks, 16% of which were the occupants of the trucks themselves[1]. Obviously, if a truck does not have a driver, a driver cannot be killed in a crash. Further, an automated truck that works as designed would never be involved in a crash at all.

However, progress in automation does not come without drawbacks, the most obvious of which is job loss. As of May 2015, there were over 1.6 million truck drivers in the United States[2], and it is the most common job in more than half of the 50 states [citation needed]. Not only that, but many other industries benefit from trucking, such as gas stations, diners, and motels. These types of establishments will suffer without the business of truck drivers who need to make stops on their long-haul drives.

Lessons LearnedEdit

Proactive policy vs. reactive policy

  • Link to release of US DOT policy from September 2016

Lack of a pilot location (complete testing environment)

  • Without an isolated pilot location with a complete environment for testing, the technology can’t be evaluated comprehensively
  • California passed bill in September 2016 to use for testing

Lessons to be learned (areas policy may fail to address in a timely manner)

  • Spending
  • Maintenance
  • Privacy (sharing of data between vehicles)

Discussion QuestionsEdit

How do you program ethics into automated technology? And who should make that decision?

If an automated truck is going to collide with another non-automated vehicle, does the truck minimize damage to itself and its occupant(s), or does it minimize damage to the non-automated vehicle and its occupant(s)?

What will the role of the truck driver be once trucks are automated? What training will be required?

How will automation in trucking affect the economy (e.g. loss of jobs)?

How will we ensure that an automated truck (or any automated vehicle) will not be utilized by terrorists?

How will automated trucks be maintained while in service?

Will an automated truck be programmed to pull over to the side of the road when it gets a flat tire?

Further ReadingEdit


  1. Jump up↑ Santens, Scott. "Self-Driving Trucks Are Going to Hit Us Like a Human-Driven Truck." Medium, May 14, 2015
  16. The History of Semi-Trailer Trucks. Great Western Transportation. (Retrieved October 16, 2016)
  17. Ibid
  18. Ibid
  19. Ibid
  20. 1. Jump up ↑ Freightliner. "Freightliner Trucks: 70 Years of Innovation." Accessed October 16, 2016.
  21. Ibid 1950's
  22. Ibid 1950s
  23. Ibid 1960s
  24. Frasier Sr, Van L. 1974. "Air Ride Suspension For Trucks". United States. Accessed October 16, 2016
  25. United States Congress. Surface Transportation Act of 1982. Washington D.C.: (Accessed October, 16 2016)
  26. Murphy Rebecca. Rio Tinto improves productivity through the world's largest fleet of owned and operated autonomous trucks. (Accessed October 16, 2016)
  27. Giroux, David. Freightliner Inspiration Truck Receives Autonomous Vehicle Licensing from Nevada DMV. (Accessed October 16, 2016)
  28. Ibid
  29. Ohnsman, Alan. This Bud's For The Robot: Otto, Anheuser-Busch Claim First Automated Truck Shipment. (Accessed October 16, 2016)
  30. Harding, J., Powell, G., R., Yoon, R., Fikentscher, J., Doyle, C., Sade, D., Lukuc, M., Simons, J., & Wang, J. (2014, August). Vehicle-to-vehicle communications: Readiness of V2V technology for application. (Report No. DOT HS 812 014). Washington, DC: National Highway Traf c Safety Administration.
  31. Ibid.
  32. Ibid.
  33. Ibid.
  34. Bob Tita, and Mike Ramsey, "Truckers Gain Automated Assist", (August 2015). Wall Street Journal. Accused on November 1, 2016 at
  35. Thomopoulos, N., & Givoni, M. (2015). The autonomous car--a blessing or a curse for the future of low carbon mobility? an exploration of likely vs. desirable outcomes. European Journal of Futures Research, 3(1), 1-14. doi:
  36. Carbon War Room, "Unlocking Fuel Saving Technologies on Trucking and Fleets", (November 2012). Accessed on November 1, 2016 at
  37. Thomopoulos, N., & Givoni, M. (2015). The autonomous car--a blessing or a curse for the future of low carbon mobility? an exploration of likely vs. desirable outcomes. European Journal of Futures Research, 3(1), 1-14. doi:
  38. Anita Kim, David Perlman, Dan Bogard and Ryan Harrington, "Review of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) for Automated Vehicles", Department of Transportation. (March 2015). Accessed on November 15, 2016 at
  39. Leonard, K. M., Smith, Egan, PE,P.T.O.E., P.T.P., & Gay, K. (2016). Developing the workforce for a connected vehicle future: USDOT's intelligent transportation systems training opportunities for today and tomorrow. Institute of Transportation Engineers.ITE Journal, 86(6), 39-42. Retrieved from
  40. American Association for Motor Vehicle Administrators, "Commercial Driver's License Manual", (May 2015).
  41. Anita Kim, David Perlman, Dan Bogard and Ryan Harrington, "Review of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) for Automated Vehicles", Department of Transportation. (March 2015). Accessed on November 15, 2016 at
  42. Automated Vehicles Policy. (September 2016). Department of Transportation and NHTSA. Accessed on November 16, 2016 at
  43. Ibid.
  44. Ibid.
  45. Ibid.
  46. Pedro M. d'Orey, Amin Hosseini, José Azevedo, Frank Diermeyer, Michel Ferreira, Markus Lienkamp, "Hail-a-Drone: Enabling teleoperated taxi fleets", Intelligent Vehicles Symposium (IV) 2016 IEEE, pp. 774-781, 2016.
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  49. Ibid.
  50. Ibid.
  51. Ibid.
  52. Ibid.
  53. Ibid.
  54. James Manyika, Michael Chui, Jaques Bughin, Richard Dobbs, Peter Bisson and Alex Marrs. "Disruptive technologies: Advances that will transform life, business and the global economy",(May 2013). Accessed on November 16, 2016 at
  55. Ibid.