After the media reported the ride sharing company Uber would be dropping it’s driverless truck program, the general public probably believe they will hear no more about autonomous trucks. They may be right, they may be wrong. Autonomous trucks might not appear in the general media, but they will be big in the plans of the truck makers and the trucking industry.
One of the most important aspects of getting it right in the trucking world is for government and industry to make sure we know what we don’t know. Two stories in this week’s newsletter illustrate this point very well.
With Performance Based Standards we started off with a fantastic idea. We Australians are very good at great ideas. Then came the part where drilling down to the details created the basic tenets of the scheme and how it would work.
It was very refreshing this week to see someone is taking notice of safety and the trucking industry. The Conversation ran a piece titled, ‘Young drivers don’t know how to be safe around trucks – here’s how we can teach them’.
Reading the news about a confidential hotline where truck drivers and supply chain workers can call a hotline to report potential safety breaches left me in quandary, to dob or not to dob, that is the question. The announcement this week by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator sees a confidential 1800 number being set up for concerned people in the supply chain to raise concerns.
The trucking industry in Australia needs to ask itself this question, do we really care about fuel consumption? Rationally, the answer should of course be yes, but don’t listen to what we say, look at what we actually do.
After analysing the way some new technologies work a global expert in road transport has concluded there is no future for hydrogen fuel cell trucks, if the goal is sustainability. Recent years have seen an explosion of interest in alternatives to diesel engines to power trucks with a number of well hyped projects using electric or fuel cell power hitting the headlines.
This week has seen the third in a series of events where there are truckies talking to cops, but in a nice way. There has been a positive reaction on the part of the truckies involved, someone is listening to them.
On the Queen’s Birthday this week, the trucking industry received a Queen’s honour for one of the good guys. Trevor Martyn has been around the trucking industry for a long career and retained a positive forward thinking attitude to the industry and its issues throughout those years.
The transport ministers of Australia have signed off on a package of reforms, which are all about finding a long term fix for PBS. We have been living with the reality of the Performance Based Standards for quite a few years now and it looks like a very different beast from the one which was described to us by the campaigners who got it up in the first place.