Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!
We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).
There are some owner operators as described, but most are beholden.
The problem with swapping drivers has to do with hours of service requirements. A bit too much detail to get into right now, unfortunately.
I should actually correct myself slightly: Wal-Mart (and others) have some in house drivers and some outsourced.
BTW, in discussions of the transport industry, don't get distracted/lied to by the companies. Some drivers think they are owner operators, when in practice, they aren't. They will lease/buy a truck from (as an example, all of the bigs do this) Schneider. As part of the lease terms, they can only accept loads from Schneider. It should be obvious that the 'owner' is an employee who has assumed much of the risk that the company would usually take on.
ShanghaiBill has a decent reply, but he misses a point: if the automated truck is cheaper, the big companies will drive that change in a heartbeat. The trick is that someone has to be convinced that they will be cheaper. They are unlikely to automatically accept that an automated truck is safer, faster, etc. One area where they are likely to be impressed is the possibility of 24 hour operations, rather than the 10 hour per day (rough) limits of human operated trucks. In addition to (possibly) being cheaper, this will allow faster shipments for more mundane goods (there are already plenty of ways to have fast shipping, but it is cost prohibitive to do for everything) which would offer them a competitive advantage. I suspect this last point will be the thin edge of the wedge.
Granted, your newest one in here - that facts themselves are just democrat conspiracies - is quite a doozy - but I know you have more up your sleeve yet. Come on, tell us how this speech was itself an impeachable offense!
Most large companies outsource their transport to JB Hunt, Schneider, etc. Sure, the big letters say 'WalMart', but in smaller, DOT minimum sized font, it often has another name.
You can push for the design output, but only at the expense of maintenance, and there's a glowing lump in the Ukraine that demonstrates what happens then.
Chernobyl had nothing whatsoever to do with maintenance. It happened as the direct consequence of an ill conceived experiment, which deliberately bypassed safety protocols, with the added bonus that the experiment was moved at the last minute from the day-shift to the less experienced night-shift crew.
On a more serious note, the religious grandstanding within your party is in some ways similar to the sunni-shia conflict in Islam. You have a small loud faction that are dedicated to spreading their preferred message - and supporting their declaration of themselves being the best adherent - while most people could really care less. The problem though is that much like the sunni-shia conflict, your conflict gets more news than the millions who don't make a huge fuss over it. In the end you end up giving everyone else - including those who have no preference in the religious front at all - a black eye.