Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Breaker 1-9 to the rubber duck, we got a robot in the air...

Is trucking a way of life that is about to fade away? I start to wonder, now that Oshkosh is starting to put six up with robot trucks for the Army.

Anybody who says that we shouldn't spend on our miltech is out of his mind... commercial applications will follow, and they follow very well in this case. There's a lot of, pardon the pun, heavy lifting to still be done before anybody really feels a threat to their driving jobs, but at some point folks are going to get better at bridging the differences between off-road navigation and dealing with traffic, and when that happens, truckers are either going to go away, or else have to learn to do much more as their capabilities are significantly expanded:

1. Will cruise control really live up to its name with a steering-enablement package once you're on a section of road with a sufficiently low traffic density?
2. In an economy with just-in-time manufacture, how good does it get if you have a truck that can drive 30 hours straight w/o imposing an overwhelming safety risk upon the public?

Science fiction is here today... and tomorrow, maybe, the good stuff. Like my robot flying car.

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