Car Shippers: Is robot car shipping the future of the industry?

Is robot car shipping possible? With the spread of COVID-19, there has been an increased interest in the idea of contactless shipping. The pandemic has brought grave economic consequences for the overall shipping industry. Since then, an increasing number of investors have shown willingness to invest in autonomous vehicles technology. While self-driving trucks promise to […]


Is robot car shipping possible?

With the spread of COVID-19, there has been an increased interest in the idea of contactless shipping. The pandemic has brought grave economic consequences for the overall shipping industry. Since then, an increasing number of investors have shown willingness to invest in autonomous vehicles technology. While self-driving trucks promise to revolutionize the trucking business, robot car shipping seems to be the future of the car shipping industry. A few companies are already manufacturing and rolling out their self-driving cars and trucks. Recently Daimler Trucks and Waymo, two big players in the industry, have partnered to bring autonomous SAE level 4 trucks on the roads.

These autonomous trucks can bring the idea of robot car shippers to life. Will car shippers be able to ship your car to your desired location with a fully autonomous robot car shipper? How would it impact the car shippers providing car shipping services across the US? 

Key benefits of robot car shippers

The concept of robot car shippers is becoming a reality only due to the use of autonomous trucks on highways. When self-driving vehicles hit the roads in large numbers, robot car shippers will also start offering their car shipping services. The benefits of self-driving trucks for the shipping industry are numerous. These include:

Limited Human Involvement

With the involvement of highly sophisticated technology in robot car shippers, human induction and involvement in this industry will diminish. Most of the work will be taken up and executed through Artificial Intelligence and the domain of human effort will further shrink. It will also reduce the overall personnel costs for the car shipping services as fewer men will require to complete the work. It is ultimately going to benefit the end-user of service who will be able to transport vehicles at a lesser cost.

24/7 Shipping

Another added benefit to the robot or autonomous car shipping service is that it would be capable of operating for the whole 24 hours. While human beings have to meet certain needs and the creature demands some rest, food, and water to replenish its energy levels, self-driving trucks would be able to work non-stop. These programmed heavy vehicles can keep on operating without any rest. These trucks will commute throughout both peak and off-peak hours to accomplish consistent deliveries.

Time Saving and Quick Deliveries

Societies are getting technologically advanced at a rapid rate and this revolution has paced up the service delivery mechanisms all over the world. Industries compete to become more efficient in delivering their services. Car shipping will be no exception. It is obvious that as robot car shippers would be able to operate continuously, they would ensure more consistent services within a set time frame. It will not only save time by efficient delivery of the product but also enhance the repute of that particular vehicle transport company.

Improved Safety Mechanisms

Huge load-carrying vehicles pose a serious risk to the other commuters on the road. Sometimes, drivers lose their control of the vehicle which becomes the cause of serious and deadly accidents on the highways. In the case of the car transporting trucks, it can cause damage to the loaded cars. This ultimately results in a loss for the vehicle shipping company. Besides, it also damages the hard-earned repute of that company. With the induction of AI technology, the chances of any accident would become minimal. Programmed vehicles will ensure better safety mechanisms. The chance of human error will be eliminated. Autonomous trucks on roads will cause fewer crashes, injuries and reduce the number of deaths that occur due to human negligence in driving.

Competitive Advantage to Car Shipping Companies

Those companies that will add self-driving autonomous trucks to their service delivery lineup are going to have a competitive edge in the market. These car transporting companies would be able to draw more profit margins while at the same time offering cost-efficient service delivery to their clients. Other companies with less sophisticated mechanisms for car transfers would be left behind.

Cost-Efficient Services

As soon as autonomous shipping trucks become a norm in the car transporting services, the whole process will become much cheaper because of time reduction, technology, and less human resource involvement in managing the affairs of vehicle transfer services. Initially, cost to ship a car through autonomous trucks might be high, but with the phenomena becoming commonplace, it will become cost-efficient very quickly.

Problems in implementation of fully-autonomous robot car shippers

While there are outstanding benefits of employing robot car shippers and autonomous trucks, there are some complications that are involved in the process. There will be certain challenges to address before we fully shift towards automated robot car shipping. Some of these challenges include :

Confirming safe and secure delivery of Vehicles

While in traditional car transfer trucks, the driver and the other staff ensure that the vehicle has been delivered without any wear and tear and damage to its parts. However, this is not the case with autonomous car shipping trucks. Robot car shippers will need more advanced tools and digital systems to evaluate the safety of the vehicle after it has been delivered. This will require companies to make huge investments in automated, digital tools to execute these tasks. Although it is possible, the cost may outweigh the benefit as creating digital systems for customer support, delivery confirmation, etc demand high investment.

Vehicle loading & unloading

Another challenge for robot trucks would be to automatically load and unload the cars that they aim to relocate. This might not be possible if the cars themselves are not programmed for this function. While the autonomous robot trucks would be able to understand highway signals and other road elements, they will be only good at commuting. The task of loading and unloading will certainly require physical beings to drive up the vehicle on the truck and then to drive it down once it reaches the destination.

Doorstep Service

Large AI programmed trucks would not be able to carry out door-to-door shipment activities on their own. As they are not physically manned, it would not be feasible for huge trucks to navigate small streets and sharp turns in residential areas while loading or unloading the vehicle at customer’s doorsteps. This may require robot car shipping trucks to be driven by a human operator in these areas to ensure the safety of the cars that it is delivering.

Conclusion

The above challenges clearly demonstrate one thing: humans will remain part of the autonomous shipping and delivery process for the years to come. Although robot trucks will drive on highways by themselves, they will still need human assistance to accomplish their work. Nevertheless, automated trucks will ensure fast delivery, less time consumption, and a continuous 24/7 service for their customers. The idea of employing automated trucks for vehicle shipment is gaining ground and the days are not far when we will see automated trucks traveling alongside our robot cars on highways.

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