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Thread: Self-driving trucks, yes or no?

  1. #1
    The Un-Holy One The Man's Avatar
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    Self-driving trucks, yes or no?

    Russian truck maker KAMAZ is the pride and joy of the Motherland, one of the more successful auto industry ventures in the country.

    KAMAZ factory in Naberezhnye Chelny, Tatarstan



    It is the work horse of patriotic long haul truckers, forever immortalized in the early 2000s TV drama Dalnoboishiki ("Long-haulers"), where the white KAMAZ with the Russian Tricolor on the front was as much a star as Vladislav Galkin and Vladimir Gostyukhin, who did amazing shit with it, as they tangled with the mafia and such, on their long, adventurous drives across Russia


    It won many a Rally Dakar

    including last year: Kamaz Asserts Dakar Domination Once Again With 2014 Win

    They also make military armored vehicles like the "Vystrel"

    and the "Taifun"


    as well as the badass "Karatel" ("Punisher") light APC for the FSB special forces, often jokingly referred to as the "Batmobile"


    They also manufacture farming and industrial vehicles


    But, now, they are stepping into a whole new era.

    Back in February, it was announced KAMAZ will be developing self-driving trucks guided by artificial intelligence: Russia's KamAZ to Build Robo-Trucks | News | The Moscow Times

    Now, they are saying they are ready to test prototypes: http://www.themoscowtimes.com/busine...ek/523068.html

    Overall, I think its a hell of an idea. Very interesting and innovative. But, I don't think it will work in Russia.

    In Russia, you have guys like Kirill Kartashkov

    the president of the Chelyabinsk-based "Brotherhood" truck drivers' union.

    Kartashkov's organization represents some 10,300 drivers around Russia, and that's about 1 in 5 drivers in the country.

    He has branches in every city and henchmen like Ruslan Omarov

    a former professional boxer who now works for Kartashkov as an "expeditor", an enforcer, really, carries a gun and resolves things with local gangs and such on behalf of the Brotherhood. Kartashkov has many guys like that. They act as security for the drivers, and, often enough, even take on the role of police on the lawless highways where official government presence is far away and tied up by bureaucracy and such. He profits handsomely: every driver has to pay a monthly fee to the organization: 2,000 rubles. That's a total of 20,600,000 rubles per month in the Brotherhood's (mostly Kartashkov's) coffers, about $420,000 American, per month! On top of that, through the Brotherhood, Kartashkov owns truck parking lots, mechanic repair shops, cafes and diners, motels, gas stations, around the country, all of which are making him richer every day. And there are a bunch of other guys like him. It's a mafia all of it's own. In an interview, Kartashkov said, back in 2011, he was "flattered", when the reporter told him he has been compared to al Capone and would be at home in 1930s Chicago.
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    All these guys have wealth and political connections. And they will use this wealth and political connections to fight anything and anybody that dares attack their business and their source of more money...

    Plus, of course, the truckers themselves would be out of jobs, many of them, with this, and they won't take it lying down either. They are, indeed, a brotherhood, and they will tear heads off for one another. As "Long-haulers" demonstrated in one episode, I recall, when a neo-Nazi gang kidnapped Gostyukhin's character's wife to force him to pay them protection fees, and a mob of truckers showed up with them to battle the gang and get the woman back: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ShRwvo50lwI

    If these "drone trucks" are actually introduced into the industry, I would expect, after the layoffs that would inevitably follow, massive vandalism, sabotage, maybe even riots and unrest in some areas. And I wouldn't blame them, most of these guys have families to feed. Not all automation is a good thing IMHO

  2. #2
    Senior Member Meursault's Avatar
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    More jobs gone to automation?

    Where's Ned Ludd when you need him?

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    Veteran Member Southern Dad's Avatar
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    I believe that self-driving trucks, self-driving trains, self-driving tractors are coming. There will be those that fight progress but none-the-less it is coming.

  4. #4
    Veteran Member Kontrary's Avatar
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    No one can stop it, self driving cars are coming too. People wont be ALLOWED to drive since self driving are going to drastically increase safety. Those nations who dont join in will suffer because they will be competing with businesses internationally who dont pay those labor costs anymore...who pay lower insurance...can operate 24/7.

    Technology always eliminates jobs, and sometimes it adds jobs..but yes overall, it tends to eliminate more than it adds. Isnt that the point anyway....people try to accomplish more with less work...people attempt to enjoy the fruits of labor while not having to devote so much time and energy to the actual labor...and its succeeding.

    We will need to change how we distribute resources, we will have to create entirely new economic models...but its a bit at a time as its always been.

    There are no elevator operators anymore, no more telephone operators, many jobs were eliminated when they came up with a more mechanized assembly line, there are no more ice men (they used to go door to door selling ice for your icebox), no more milk men etc.

    So far the only feasible idea I have heard thusfar is the citizens paycheck...

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    Will a pilotless vehicle know black ice forms much quicker on overpasses?
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    Cyborg Coyote's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by webrockk View Post
    Will a pilotless vehicle know black ice forms much quicker on overpasses?
    Presumably that is rather easy to program. Overpass approaching = slow down. Also, many cars have automatic traction control. I don't know if trucks do, but there's no reason why they shouldn't.
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    Veteran Member Southern Dad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by webrockk View Post
    Will a pilotless vehicle know black ice forms much quicker on overpasses?
    Yes, they will. They will be able to sense the road conditions far faster than a human will. The first unmanned vehicle to cross it would inform all of the others. They would know instantly that there was an issue where us humans, won't. Think about it, a vehicle crosses the bridge at 8:10 PM and sends a signal that the road temperature is 33, all other vehicles would then slow before approaching.
    Thanks from Coyote and webrockk

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    Senior Member Meursault's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kontrary View Post
    No one can stop it, self driving cars are coming too. People wont be ALLOWED to drive since self driving are going to drastically increase safety. Those nations who dont join in will suffer because they will be competing with businesses internationally who dont pay those labor costs anymore...who pay lower insurance...can operate 24/7.

    Technology always eliminates jobs, and sometimes it adds jobs..but yes overall, it tends to eliminate more than it adds. Isnt that the point anyway....people try to accomplish more with less work...people attempt to enjoy the fruits of labor while not having to devote so much time and energy to the actual labor...and its succeeding.

    We will need to change how we distribute resources, we will have to create entirely new economic models...but its a bit at a time as its always been.

    There are no elevator operators anymore, no more telephone operators, many jobs were eliminated when they came up with a more mechanized assembly line, there are no more ice men (they used to go door to door selling ice for your icebox), no more milk men etc.

    So far the only feasible idea I have heard thusfar is the citizens paycheck...
    Hierarchal societies will always be preserved by the people who benefit from it most. They convince others that it's in their interests to maintain the current mode of production. As Kings and feudal lords once did with serfs.

    The revolutionaries in America and France beat the odds, and it was a long bloody process. The capitalist revoloutions worked because the property based market system did in fact offer material benefits for more people. Do you think the people who currently run the world will just all of the sudden allow a new mode of production to manifest? Will they vote themselves out of their wealth/position?

    During the Cold War these people were willing to destroy humanity in order to maintain the capitalist mode of production.

    I suppose one of Marx's theories was that a new mode of production won't likely manifest until capitalism stops functioning. What levels of misery do you think people will endure before they demand a new economic system? Will this new economic system be able to materially benefit more people? Will it be able to provide free democratic societies the world over?

    The Marxist/Soviet model is obviously not desirable. An expanding market system isn't sustainable. I'd prefer a sort of democratic Ecosicialism where we produce/consume a lot less junk. Most economists will say it's impossible.They define freedom as having acsess to millions of different colored commodities. This requires a market system.

  9. #9
    Veteran Member Kontrary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meursault View Post
    Hierarchal societies will always be preserved by the people who benefit from it most. They convince others that it's in their interests to maintain the current mode of production. As Kings and feudal lords once did with serfs.

    The revolutionaries in America and France beat the odds, and it was a long bloody process. The capitalist revoloutions worked because the property based market system did in fact offer material benefits for more people. Do you think the people who currently run the world will just all of the sudden allow a new mode of production to manifest? Will they vote themselves out of their wealth/position?

    During the Cold War these people were willing to destroy humanity in order to maintain the capitalist mode of production.

    I suppose one of Marx's theories was that a new mode of production won't likely manifest until capitalism stops functioning. What levels of misery do you think people will endure before they demand a new economic system? Will this new economic system be able to materially benefit more people? Will it be able to provide free democratic societies the world over?

    The Marxist/Soviet model is obviously not desirable. An expanding market system isn't sustainable. I'd prefer a sort of democratic Ecosicialism where we produce/consume a lot less junk. Most economists will say it's impossible.They define freedom as having acsess to millions of different colored commodities. This requires a market system.
    The really funny part about the statement of yours I bolded....I think MANY people would prefer that but they DONT even know it. They have never lived in such a way and its like an addict trying to picture life without their addictive substance...

  10. #10
    The Un-Holy One The Man's Avatar
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    @Kontrary, "progress" isn't always a great thing, I'm sorry.

    Just in the context of Russia, and this issue with the trucks.

    Did you know that long distance truck driving is the ultimate rebound job in Russia? I read that article which has the interview with Kartashkov, which is about a reporter who goes around Russia riding the trucks and interviewing drivers and other people involved in the industry. He meets former cops, doctors, teachers, businessmen, all sorts of folks, who, one way or another, became unemployed, and found a new livelihood driving the trucks. All of them have families and mouths to feed. At the same time, it takes a certain breed to be a trucker over there (and here too, I would bet).

    It is a culture, a society of its own. They love their trucks, live on their trucks, even get married on their trucks



    They depend on those trucks and those jobs.

    Keep in mind also that some areas in Russia, especially on the Trans-Siberian highway, are so dangerous, yo gotta have a guy literally riding shotgun (or, AK, as it happens lol)

    and more armed guys escorting you in another car


    How do you think a robo-truck will do in that environment?

    Just sayin'.

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