The Artificial Intelligence Problem (or not)

4859

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You guys aren't getting it. This whole ground crew idea is a non-starter for 80% of shipping across the US.

The shipper makes the product.
The receiver wants the product.

NEITHER OF THEM WANT ANYTHING MORE TO DO WITH GETTING IT THERE THAN THEY HAVE TO.

Example,This load:

View attachment 24860

Ok, ya'll probably don't even see what you're looking at, because you guys are like every other shipper/receiver on the planet for the most part. Ignorant. It's not that you're stupid (and I'm not calling anyone that), but it's that you literally don't know the huge amount regulations that are accessible and in the open. You would rely on me, and my knowledge of the regulations for shipping, in order to make sure your stuff gets from A to B as desired and in the condition it was in when loaded. Pretty much the norm. What's an AI going to do? Display the FMCSA securement regulations on a display on the side and automatically open some boxes for load straps and chains? I think not.

fun fact: there's more commercial vehicle regulations than there are commercial aviation regulations.

If this had been loaded by the shipper and by the shipper only without any input from me, onto an AI pulling the flatbed, it would have rolled out the door illegally. He would have just had shit piled on with no way to secure it, it wouldn't have BEEN secured, and it would have pleasantly just gone out the gate and put a alloy spear through someone's windshield at the first bump.

There is no legal mechanism to find the shipper responsible for cargo misloading/packaging unless it's an in-depth hazmat inspection and even then, it's going to be a court battle. Everything as far as legal responsibility for the shipment itself and it's safe conduct from point A to B is on the driver, and on the company, depending on where it falls on the matrix of "who do we cite".

There's 3 entities involved in the whole shipment, and only 1 is criminally liable during the entire shipping process, so that 1 is going to make sure they can actually make sure the other 2 aren't trying to pull a fast one. That means you need a human as part of the shipment, and minimum wage isn't going to cut it. I have a former DOE OST broham who does civvie side nuclear transport. The amount of mislabeled, mispackaged shit is astounding and he gets paid the big bucks to ship that stuff, as he has to know ALL the regulations to be able to inspect, repackage as necessary, properly secure, and properly transport said cargo. Open deck is the same way, specific cargos need specific securement depending on weight, position, size, etc etc. Look at how people tie shit down in a pickup truck bed or on a regular utility trailer, then look at my trailer. Big difference between what you'd get minimum wage quality and what you get with a professional doing the job.

There's 24 different independent securements on that load to make sure that everything on that deck doesn't go anywhere. Chains, straps. Edge protection to make sure things don't cut straps. Edge protection to make sure chains don't damage stuff.

That deck is several thousand visual and tactile inspection points. What AI is going to do those? Expecting an AI to do that is literally expecting an AI to be able to JMPI a jumper. Good luck with that. How's a load sensor going to help in the middle of nowhere if it pings that something broke? Human will have seen it start to fray and protected it/replaced it, sensor is just a GO/NOGO thing. Now your AI truck is deadlined 200 miles from anywhere on the side of I-10, waiting for hours for a rescue crew to replace a fricking 2" strap. congrats, the truck's stopped. Now instead of making money it's costing money.

What ground crew is going to do those when it's the mass of shipping in the US, which is irregular freight from point A to B? What ground crew is going to be going to bumfuck Montana in the middle of farmland to a lat-long then unloading a new skidsteer and teaching the owner the basics, then loading their old one as a tradein?

The only way an AI truck could do my job is if it came with a T-800 to do the securement too.

It's hard enough to find all the drivers that the industry needs specifically because of the fact that they won't fucking pay us what we're worth... which is why I am an owner operator, I bill the same rate as the big guys but *I* make more because 1/4 or more of the load's rate isn't going to support corporate bullshit.

As it is, except for rare local positions, you aren't paid hourly at all. It's per mile you move cargo. The point of going AI trucking is to cut out the 1/4 - 1/3 of the load rate that goes to pay/insure the driver, and instead pocket it in the corporate pocket. You also don't understand the industry either, as 70% of the trucks on the road today are part of 10 or less truck fleets, with about half being straight owner ops, single human shows like myself. There's not going to be any small fleets or owner ops like myself buying an AI truck. That shit's going to be way more expensive than my rig now, and my rig now, new, is >$140k. Yep, my big rig costs more than a Maserati. How ya like me now?

Someone mentioned a human assistant. So you're going to have a human ride along, but not actually operate the vehicle, or otherwise cut their pay as the vehicle doesn't require their operation at all.... So we already discussed the point that going AI is intended to remove the human. Now you want to pay someone even MORE SHIT (plenty of drivers at megafleets are barely clearing a grand a week after taxes, with operation of the vehicle inherent in the job) and have them away from their home/family riding a truck they have no say in where it goes and isn't going to be stopping for piss breaks shits or anything else, because the whole point of going AI is being able to have a low cost vehicle going at the most aerodynamically efficient speed and configuration, across the US, nonstop, so your amazon dildos get to your doorstep in time for you to go fuck yourself.

Oh, and that last 3 word bit is what every driver in the industry right now would tell you if you told them now they're an AI bitch and getting paid half their current rate if not less.

Now fedex? UPS? That could be AI'ed relatively easy. I'm sure everyone who's driven past a wiggle wagon set of doubles/triples is completely comfortable with letting a computer handle a 100ft multi-pivot-point semi-stable combination vehicle on the roadways next to them at 70mph. But, they're doing distribution center to distribution center work, so they would own it wholly from A to Z and THERE they could have the human checks to make sure the robotruck can do it's thing. Except those humans would be Teamsters. Think Puerto Rico was bad with the truckers union striking after the hurricane? Pffft let's replace the vast majority of employees of the biggest (dirtiest) union in the USA with robots and see what happens.
Looking at the motor carrier act of 1980, and how it literally slashed union membership in half, I'm guessing another shit ton of deregulations, and another devastating loss for the unions.

Unless we finally manage to start kicking corporate money out of our politics again.
 

Centermass

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You mean I'll no longer know if it has it's panties in?:ack:
That idiot is everywhere.......


If you've ever been a OTR driver, it's sometimes funny and aggravating at the same time.

Sorry to defecate all over your parade, but as with most things, until you actually do it, you don't even know what you don't know.
How hard can it be? Just jump in the truck, get behind the wheel and down the road we go..........


FMCSA, NHTSA, NTSB, CVSA, Fed and State DOT's / DMV's, log books, ELD's, brokers, shippers, receivers, logistics, fleet management...the list goes on and on....and this is just the tip of the iceberg on what a CMV driver has to deal with, let alone time management, maintenance, weather, road conditions, routes, fuel, weight limitations, places to park, idiot drivers...yada yada yada.

There are so many infinite variables involved, maybe AI will take over sometime in the future, but "100% nothing but" is a hell of a long ways off.
 

SaintKP

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If this had been loaded by the shipper and by the shipper only without any input from me, onto an AI pulling the flatbed, it would have rolled out the door illegally. He would have just had shit piled on with no way to secure it, it wouldn't have BEEN secured, and it would have pleasantly just gone out the gate and put a alloy spear through someone's windshield at the first bump.

This is depressing because it's so true, DC's I've unloaded shipments from in the past (deliveries that drivers had zero part in loading) have been so messed up it went from being a soup sandwich back into a solid shit sandwich.


I would think that the shipper would pay attention a little more especially on a flatbed, is that not the case in your experience?
 

Ranger Psych

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Looking at the motor carrier act of 1980, and how it literally slashed union membership in half, I'm guessing another shit ton of deregulations, and another devastating loss for the unions.

Unless we finally manage to start kicking corporate money out of our politics again.
Unions run all the LTL shipping in the US. UPS, Fedex, Old Dominion, Estes, etc etc. Everything that would have a 90% immediately implementable AI-driving option, unions are behind the wheel. Unions are also behind the wheel pretty solidly (as in 98% of shipping) in Alaska.


I would think that the shipper would pay attention a little more especially on a flatbed, is that not the case in your experience?
It's hit or miss, especially if companies don't constantly ship product. The less shipping they do, the more they rely on me with that shipment to get it done right.
 

medicchick

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That idiot is everywhere.......


If you've ever been a OTR driver, it's sometimes funny and aggravating at the same time.



How hard can it be? Just jump in the truck, get behind the wheel and down the road we go..........


FMCSA, NHTSA, NTSB, CVSA, Fed and State DOT's / DMV's, log books, ELD's, brokers, shippers, receivers, logistics, fleet management...the list goes on and on....and this is just the tip of the iceberg on what a CMV driver has to deal with, let alone time management, maintenance, weather, road conditions, routes, fuel, weight limitations, places to park, idiot drivers...yada yada yada.

There are so many infinite variables involved, maybe AI will take over sometime in the future, but "100% nothing but" is a hell of a long ways off.
It's the equivalent of being a Paramedic and getting told to shut up and not touch them because they are just an ambulance driver. I know you know but to 90% of people...
 

4859

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Unions run all the LTL shipping in the US. UPS, Fedex, Old Dominion, Estes, etc etc. Everything that would have a 90% immediately implementable AI-driving option, unions are behind the wheel. Unions are also behind the wheel pretty solidly (as in 98% of shipping) in Alaska.
Bro, I love you, and especially what you do but you are literally listing the reasons aspects of your industry are becoming a target.

The unions are so strong in Less than Truckload is because LtL is one of the least touched aspects of the 1980 mca (a loaded deregulation act made in response to a loaded 1930 regulation act) and still have many of its regulations intact, providing among many other benefits, an entry barrier keeping corporations from flooding the market. (On the downside, these entry barriers are making it more difficult to aquire needed new truckers) Only two 'new' big companies I can think of who entered the ltl market since then were ups and fed ex.

The unions used to control a sizable amount of ftl as well. Here's what happened to the trucking industry at large after the excessively deregulating 1980 mca act.

40,000 new shipping companies sprung up between 1980 and 1990, many many many of which of course, were non union. Backed with investor money they engaged in Predatory pricing tactics to undercut their union competition. Union drivers suffered large pay loss as a result. Union membership of the industry at large dropped from 60%, to 20% in just 5 years (1980 TO 1985). A significant portion of which is now left now is indeed ltl.

That's a loss of ground of 40% for the unions. In 5 years.

Ltl has been considered rather niche at 25 billion of the 700 billion shipping market. (As of 2013). However it's a solid, hardworking profitable, sustainable industry that has quickly recovered from the recession and his been making good yoy gains ever since, becoming a key part of the industry, which has inevitably attracted the attention of the shit heads, who see a profitable market to weasel into and harvest.

What is LTL Shipping and How Did it Come About?

(Obviously I'm not posting this to explain what LtL is to a sme like RP, although I'm sure others might enjoy the information, but to support what im saying on the history, and the relationship of the industry to the 1980 mca).


Now I did post all that because I think it's important to look at similar situations that have already happened in recent history.... However, even more pertinent to me than how similar things happened in the past, is what's going on in the present.

If these companies didn't think they could already most likely overcome or sidestep the obstacles you are talking about....

Then why are they investing millions if not billions into making these self driving shipping trucks?
 

Isiah6:8

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FWIW I feel like worrying about the shipping industry becoming automated is on par with the Yuan becoming a global currency.

If I were going to look at AI and think of what could go quickly, I would look at min wage employees and the jobs they do for corporations and government.
 

4859

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FWIW I feel like worrying about the shipping industry becoming automated is on par with the Yuan becoming a global currency.

If I were going to look at AI and think of what could go quickly, I would look at min wage employees and the jobs they do for corporations and government.
There are lots of areas, shipping is only one.

Amazon has ready gotten rid of tons of low wage workers in their warehouses with automation.

And high paying ones in their now vestigial and basically doneskies retail sales team with automation.

Besos loves not having to pay meatbags so they can feed their family, or get treatment for being sick, or take time off to spend with their families.
 

Isiah6:8

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There are lots of areas, shipping is only one.

Amazon has ready gotten rid of tons of low wage workers in their warehouses with automation.

And high paying ones in their now vestigial and basically doneskies retail sales team with automation.

Bezos loves not having to pay meatbags so they can feed their family, or get treatment for being sick, or take time off to spend with their families.
Low wage jobs are valued less for a myriad of reasons in a capitalistic economy. By saying they are low wage workers, you are inherently agreeing with the fact that their contribution to the company is less and in one way or another not as important as others since we are in a capitalistic society. To my earlier point, it shouldn't come as a surprise that low wage work is usually the first to go.

It isn't about making things personal, we in the US are a capitalistic economy. Bezos is also legally required to try and maximize shareholder value. If the employee or employee base added more value than the machine, the machine wouldn't be an option.
 

4859

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Literally true. Amazon's human retail team got their asses kicked by those algorithms. Entire teams of 15 people outperformed by 2x + by a single employee overwatching a marketplace algorythm.

Low wage jobs are valued less for a myriad of reasons in a capitalistic economy. By saying they are low wage workers, you are inherently agreeing with the fact that their contribution to the company is less and in one way or another not as important as others since we are in a capitalistic society. To my earlier point, it shouldn't come as a surprise that low wage work is usually the first to go.

It isn't about making things personal, we in the US are a capitalistic economy. Bezos is also legally required to try and maximize shareholder value. If the employee or employee base added more value than the machine, the machine wouldn't be an option.
It's more than that. It's definitely not personal, but that doesn't matter in the slightest.

It's basic business strategy. Those low wage workers are not just overhead, but in a well regulated (well regulated doesn't necessarily mean lots and lots of regulations, but well written ones that protect and enable the people to participate in the system) well functioning capitalist system, those 'low paid valueless' workers are potential future competition. IE the American dream. If they get paid enough to not just survive, but build capital, they can start their own businesses and become competition, a threat to the incumbent businesses. So threats are mitigated by manipulating Entry Barriers, and profits are increased by reducing overhead.
 
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policemedic

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Looking at the motor carrier act of 1980, and how it literally slashed union membership in half, I'm guessing another shit ton of deregulations, and another devastating loss for the unions.

Unless we finally manage to start kicking corporate money out of our politics again.
I’m generally not a union guy, so I don’t see union losses as a bad thing.
 
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