Driverless trucks seem like science fiction, part of a far-off world where robots and humans live and work side by side.
But the reality of big rigs autonomously negotiating cross-country highways is actually much closer, as little as five years away in some places, according to Penn sociologist Steve Viscelli, who has studied the trucking industry for the better part of a decade and published his book “The Big Rig: Trucking and the Decline of the American Dream” in 2016.
A new report he authored about driverless trucks and their effect on the trucking industry will publish soon. Penn Today spoke with Viscelli, also a resident senior fellow with the Robert A. Fox Leadership Program and senior fellow at the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy, about the safety, job implications, and economic potential of these vehicles.
Steve Viscelli is a lecturer in the sociology department in the School of Arts and Sciences, a senior fellow at the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy, and a resident senior fellow with the Robert A. Fox Leadership Program.