space carThis past week was full of news about Elon Musk’s sport car that his rocket launched into space. I don’t know exactly what it’s going to do up there, but it is pretty cool looking. Guess he’s has plenty of money for that type of thing. Then we have the story about Uber is going to have flying taxis flying around Los Angeles by 2020. Lastly was the news about the self driving truck that took a five-day trip from Los Angeles, CA to Jacksonville, FL.

The Jetson’s are finally here and I don’t know if my brain can take this.

I do know I am glad I am not out there running up and down the highways anymore. The vehicle that made the historic journey was a modified Peterbilt with several sensors and guided by self-driving software. There was a driver in the tractor during the journey, ready to take over in an emergency.

That was the reason it took five days for the trip. The driver had to comply with DOT regulations as far as the hours of service rules. I’m pretty sure he had an ELD installed. I was kind of wondering why he just couldn’t relax in the sleeper, you know set himself up a little alarm of some sort, just in case. They said the trip should only take two days, without a driver, because it wouldn’t require the ten-hour breaks.

Sport Car In Space

Isn’t it great to have been born in the 50s? When you think of all the new inventions, technology, and the way our society has progressed thru the years, it is truly incredible! You can look back to the time when we had no TV, no air conditioning, and most houses didn’t have phones. Indoor plumbing was just being developed and most cars had manual transmissions.

We could go on and on with all the new inventions that have come about and with the speed with which they have been developed. It really is monumental, when you consider all that has happened in the last fifty years. I don’t think there is any other generation in America or the world, that has witnessed such progress. We might think of it as a privilege to have seen all this, but now it’s our time to sit back and watch all the new inventions taking place. This could be quite a show to watch.

Sport Cars In Space – Last week Elon Musk and his team of Space X scientist launched a Tesla Roadster into space. The only passenger/driver was a mannequin wearing a spacesuit, named Starman. The launch was mainly for the purpose of testing Space Xs, Falcon Heavy Rocket. This is the first time a privately financed venture ever attempted to launch a rocket so powerful.

As a promotional stunt, Elon Musk loaded the rocket with his own cherry-red Roadster. The sports car will be in orbit around the sun. This launch was a great success because two of the three boosters safely landed nearby, thus being preserved for a future mission. The third, unfortunately, crash-landed at sea.

If the Space X can fly the Falcon Heavy reliably, the rocket could be used by the Pentagon to launch national security satellites. The car has three cameras installed to broadcast a live stream of its travels. The orbit that it is on will take it closes to Mars and Venus. How long it will be able to transmit pictures from space is anybody’s guess, but the car should be able to orbit for about a million years. There is a 6 percent chance that it could crash into Earth, upon its return, but I don’t think that is anything we will have to worry about.

the jetsons space saucerFlying Taxis

How many remember the Jetsons? Ah, the Jetsons, a cartoon show in the 60s that featured George Jetson and his family living in a Utopian future. George would get up in the morning, get his coffee from the robot maid Rosie and fly off to work in his aerocar, which looked like a flying saucer.

I remember watching all this and wondering if our lives would ever be like this? I was reading the other day about a robot, I believe was in Japan, that could serve four cups of coffee at a time. The flying cars are just around the corner!

Flying Taxis – Uber’s flying cars’ could arrive in LA by 2020. The article I read said that Los Angeles would be the third flying taxistest city and NASA will provide logistical support. NASA was contracted to create a new air traffic control system to manage these low flying possibly autonomous vehicles. The plans now are to start testing the aircraft/cars around the Dallas-Ft Worth airport. Urber and NASA will trade technology and expertise to aid in the development.

They will also test the aircraft in Dubai and later, because Los Angeles is one of the most congested cities in the world, begin testing there. There are a lot of people who are thinking this will only be something the rich will be able to afford, but Uber is emphatic that it will be a taxi system for everyone. Uber executives are saying that the fares will be so low that it will be cheaper to take this taxi, then it is to own a car.

The only thing I can think is that I don’t want to be a passenger in a flying taxi with no pilot. I would be real hesitant to get into an autonomous car, with just me being along for the ride!

ottoSelf Driving Trucks

Since October, autonomous trucks have been hauling freight from a warehouse in El Paso, TX to Palm Springs, CA. There are a few companies getting involved in the testing of these trucks, the main one being Elon Musk’s Tesla. The company Embark is testing the trucks from Texas to California. Embark is the company that provides the software that can be integrated into the trucks. A human driver rides along in the cab to monitor the operation, but they are working towards no driver at all.

Self Driving Trucks – Just at the start of February, an Embark Truck completed a 2,400-mile test run from Los Angeles to Jacksonville, FL. The trip took five days to complete and the truck was hauling no freight. What they are working for is a complete driverless truck that can complete the trip in two days.

It won’t be too long that their goal of having one truck with one driver, leading a group of three to five driverless trucks across the U.S. will be a reality. The plan is to develop large areas outside of major cities, where local drivers can take over the trucks from there and make the deliveries into the city.

Will it Lead to More Employment

I am sure a lot of you can remember what they said about computers when they were first used by large corporations and businesses. Everyone was worried that they would lose their jobs. The computer was supposed to cut down labor cost, cut down the use of paper and create more productivity.

Has this happened? If anything, the computer was a boom in employment. How many extra programmers, computer techs, and paper producers have we had to hire? How many extra hours are people working overtime because of computer crashes and other downtime problems?

We could say more people are going to be needed to keep all these taxis in the air and these trucks going down the highway. All the new infrastructure needed to keep this all going will lead to many more jobs. A lot more electricity will need to be produced and air traffic controllers will be needed to keep the taxis from running into each other. More programmers and computer techs will have to be hired.

Just as before, people are worried about losing their jobs, but that won’t happen, because if anything, just as in the past, more jobs will be created.

Conclusion

Truck Drivers will have to adapt in order to keep up with the changing technology. This will be easy for the younger drivers, but maybe more difficult for us older ones. When you look at past history, that is the way it is usually, with any rapid change. Not just the Trucking Industry, but most all industries are going to go through major changes in the next few years. The older of us will adapt but it will take a little longer.

I am fortunate to have a good home business and am able to work here, so I can watch all this develop without having to be out in the middle of it. Others are not so lucky! I would imagine there will be a lot of disruption and chaos when the Driverless trucks run into the Driverless cars and the Flying taxis fall down on it all. Yes, there will be a lot of confusion until it all gets sorted out!

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