With all the talk in the automotive and trucking industries turning toward autonomous, self-driving vehicles, many are wondering if getting a CDL is still worth it. The short answer is YES! While autonomous trucks may be a part of the future of transportation, truck drivers are not out of the equation.

The Role of the Driver in Self-Driving Vehicles

While the transportation industry is working toward making vehicles totally autonomous, recent news reports of their failure to avert accidents have left some wondering about the future of this technology. Like in the airline industry, autonomous vehicles are not ready to be completely driverless. In the case of the airplanes, the autopilot function is there to assist pilots. It allows the pilot to release their hands from the wheel while maintaining total awareness of their surroundings. Autonomous vehicles would allow drivers to do the same. Drivers could also override these “autopilot” functions in specific or dangerous situations.

The Future of the Truck Driving Industry

No one can say for sure what the truck driving industry will look like 5, 10, or 20 years. However, the skills you learn when earning your CDL license are invaluable. With the industry slow to adopt a fully autonomous vehicle, highly skilled drivers will still be in demand for the foreseeable future. Having a fully trained person behind the wheel, like in the airline industry, is essential to maintaining safety on the highways.

The immediate outlook for truck drivers is positive. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics reported that from 2016 to 2026, the industry will see a 6% growth. This translates to another 90,000 drivers needed NOW through 2026. With the future of autonomous vehicles rolling at a (very) slow pace, those jobs are just waiting to be filled!

The trucking industry is booming, and the demand for new drivers is high! Find out how you can get your CDL and get on the road to a new career. Call Diesel Driving Academy today! 1-800-551-8900