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Self-driving trucks are coming—and this law just made things even worse for truckers


As of today, the monitoring and enforcement of truckers’ hours through electronic logging devices (ELDs) has officially begun.

Laying down the law: A hotly debated topic in the US trucking community, ELDs are now required to record how long a trucker spends behind the wheel. Data was previously recorded with pen and paper, which is pretty easy to fudge. The thinking is that ELDs will ensure compliance and thus make the roads safer.

On and off the road: Truckers can work 14-hour shifts, with a max of 11 hours of driving. The penalty for not sticking to these shifts is a costly 10-hour sidelining.

The delay: Enforcement was originally intended to begin in December 2017, but compatibility issues between the ELD devices, certain trucks, and the readers held by police officers forced an extension of the deadline.

They’re not gonna take it: Truckers are threatening to strike in retaliation with a #ELDorme (that’s “ELD or me”) campaign, which could be debilitating to companies’ supply chains.

Why it matters: A battle with self-driving trucking is looming, and ELDs only serve to reinforce human limitations.

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