An Industry’s Look at Autonomous Trucks

An Industry’s Look at Autonomous Trucks


A Driverless Future

Human innovation is driving automotive technology to the point where, soon, we may not need anyone behind the wheel. The U.S. Department of Transportation believes automated driving systems will become the norm, improving road safety, pollution, traffic congestion, and the like. But what do those working in transportation think about driverless trucks? We surveyed 151 people in the industry to find out.


Are autonomous trucks the future?

Key Takeaways

  • 52% of those in the transportation industry said they are uncomfortable with the idea of riding in an autonomous truck.
  • 43% believe autonomous trucks will be more dangerous than those driven by humans; only 28% believe they will be safer.
  • 46% believe that “autonomous only” lanes would make driving safer.
  • 61% think autonomous dispatch management could benefit the trucking industry, and 53% are interested in upskilling to work with autonomous technology.
  • According to those in transportation, the top potential benefits of autonomous trucks are:
    • Increased productivity with 24/7 operations (70%).
    • Reduced operational costs (58%).
    • Increased capacity for long-haul trips (53%).

Is the trucking industry ready?


Key Takeaways

  • 53% of those in the transportation industry do not believe autonomous trucks will ever fully replace human drivers. However, 86% think autonomous trucks will have a negative impact on truck drivers’ job security.
  • The majority of people in the transportation industry (70%) believe autonomous trucks will become entirely mainstream within 20 years.
  • 78% of those surveyed think the transportation industry isn’t well-prepared for the transition to autonomous trucks, with the biggest challenges being:
    • Safety and reliability concerns regarding autonomous technology (70%).
    • High implementation and maintenance costs (59%).
    • Legal and regulatory challenges (56%).
    • Job displacement and retraining needs for current truck drivers (51%).
  • Over 2 in 5 respondents believe that addressing cybersecurity concerns is one of the biggest challenges of implementing autonomous trucks.

Changing Lanes

Driverless trucks will likely become an industry norm in the near future as technology continues to advance at a speedy rate. Current transportation industry workers are somewhat optimistic about autonomous trucking, but many still worry about safety, high costs, and impacts on human job security. As with most new technologies, being willing to adapt and learn are key to staying relevant in an ever-changing world.



JW Surety Bonds surveyed 151 people in the transportation industry about their views on autonomous trucks. Of the respondents, 21% were truck drivers, 19% were warehouse associates, 6% were warehouse managers, 6% were logistics coordinators, and the rest had other jobs in transportation.


About JW Surety Bonds

JW Surety Bonds is the nation’s largest surety bond service, including BMC-84 bonds. Get real-time quotes within minutes using our industry-leading online technology.


Fair Use Statement

You’re welcome to share our information about transportation workers’ perspectives on autonomous trucks with anyone you like as long as it’s for a noncommercial purpose. Please provide a link to our study so they can have access to our full findings and methodology.

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