Chairman of American Trucking Association weighs in on self-driving trucks

Chairman of American Trucking Association weighs in on self-driving trucks

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Self-driving cars and trucks are the future. We've seen them at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit and on the Ohio Turnpike. But could self-driving technology be a bad sign for local truckers?

The Chairman of the American Trucking Association stopped by Toledo Thursday.

Kevin Burch lives and breathes the trucking industry. He went to the White House in March to urge President Trump to push an infrastructure plan for much-needed road improvements.

Burch said he is actually "all for" automated or self-driving trucks, like the ones WTOL followed in December as it took a test drive on the Ohio Turnpike in Genoa.

He doesn't think it will take away truckers' jobs because they will still be needed to make sure everything is okay.

He says nobody likes change, but you cannot put your head in the sand on this technology because it could make roads safer for truckers and the regular drivers..

"When they say a driverless truck, it should be really redefined as a driver assist. The technology there will be safer on the roads, no doubt about it. But the driver will be needed in that truck. And he will be utilized just like with the planes today with the automatic pilot. You don't see the pilot, if you will, even though the plane could take off by itself."

Burch says the reality of automated trucks is probably 10 to 15 years down the road. He says he is okay with that because more time is needed to make sure it's cost effective and for the bugs to be worked out and for rules and regulations to be put into place.

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