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Driver-less Trucks taking over the world? How do they refuel?

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Team –


An article in Tech Crunch got re-posted by Quartz, which has a lot of readers, and so one can figure a lot of eyes have seen it now.  Here’s a link:


Rapid synopsis: So a convoy of self-driving trucks has made it across Europe.  Removing drivers from trucks would lower costs by 75%.  While there are obstacles, you got to figure the likes of FedEx, UPS and Walmart will find a way to make it happen here.  Economic impacts are huge, potentially.  Goods get cheaper.  1% of the workforce will be threatened.  Things that cater to truckers will suffer.  Motels, truck stops, highway diners were mentioned.  Lot Lizards were not, but should have been.


But here’s a question for all you bright folks to ponder:  Say this really happens.  How are we going to fuel these bad boys?  Here are some ideas to consider:


  • Trucks are modified with extreme fuel capacity, with the goal of going non-stop.
  • Existing truck stops are modified to allow driver-less trucks to safely negotiate to pumps where humans fill them.
  • New land is set aside, like rest stops, for driver-less trucks to park.  Businesses pay for concession rights to wet-hose them, kind of like airports fuel planes.
  • Technology will allow driver-less fueling trucks to work sections of highway to refuel on the move, much as tankers refuel jet fighters in flight.


So, if you were a jobber on I-40 hoping to corner the market on this, say, around Gallup NM, what would you build?


Bill Smallwood