Robot-driven tankers

icon.highlightedarticle.dark Automation Last modified: 8 May 2023

Robots are gaining a foothold in many industries, but not in transportation. According to the Dutch daily Financieele Dagblad, the public doesn’t like the idea of driverless cars, much less having unmanned tankers carry hazardous substances. Hence the 2,300 unfilled job openings for truck drivers in the Netherlands. And it’s especially the specialized transport jobs (tankers/hazardous substances) that are hard to fill, the paper reports. Fluids regularly reports on transportation. One of my first reportages was on a bulk liquid transportation provider, where I learned about some of the specific problems drivers face in this sector. Liquid loads are totally different from neatly stacked pallets, for instance. If you brake (hard), you set off a wave in the trailer that hits your cabin. That takes some getting used to. So I would have to concur with public opinion: robots are useful for many things, but hazardous substances are the kind of cargo I’d rather not entrust to an automated pilot!

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