Industry Update: Fuel Usage and Autonomous Trucks

Autonomous trucks on the horizon
Photo credit: Daniel Chen

Did you Know?

Every year, one billion gallons of fuel are wasted by semis due to traffic congestion.

TuSimple Acquired by Nvidia

Nvidia, one of the major companies looking to get autonomous trucks rolling in the U.S., has purchased an autonomous trucking startup called TuSimple. TuSimple is a Chinese-based company that’s been developing technology for automated freight delivery for the last two years. Having conducted a test run over a 200-mile stretch, from San Diego, CA to Yuma, AZ, their technology is rumored to be able to detect distances of about 200 yards (most current technology is around the 80-yard mark).

Related: Surprise Inspection Spree Coming September 7

Eclipse Traffic Reminder

As mentioned last week, several states are shutting down their roadways to oversized/overweight vehicles until Tuesday in most cases. Some trucking companies are shutting down entirely today due to traffic concerns. Remember how an average semi burns around a gallon of fuel per hour when idling? With diesel prices pushing $3 per gallon, it might be best to entirely avoid the eclipse’s path of totality entirely until Tuesday.

Trucking Tip of the Week

Whether you’re a broker making calls all day or a driver sitting in your cab for twelve hours, sedentary jobs can be hard on your health. Back pain is a major issue when you sit all the time. Take regular breaks to stretch, and do some shoulder rolls every hour or so. Check with your doctor to find other ways to stay comfortable during long sitting stretches.

Trucking by the Numbers

Trucking employed 7.4 million people in 2016. Of that 7.4 million people, 3.5 million are drivers. Commercial trucks paid $41.3 billion in state and federal highway fees and taxes. Trucking as a whole generated $676.2 billion in revenue, which is about 80% of the country’s freight revenue. Lastly, truckers covered 450.4 billion miles last year, using almost 40 billion gallons of diesel and over 15 billion gallons of gasoline.

Truckers should be proud of the work they do and what they do for this country. Without them, it’d be tough for everyone to live the life we’ve become accustomed to here in the U.S.

Keep your shiny side up!

There was plenty of other information rolling through this week. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to let us know – email us at

Regulatory Affairs Analyst Jeremy Feucht follows the latest political and legislative processes, along with their potential effects, on the trucking industry. He has worked in the U.S. Senate and has served as a member of Planning and Zoning, City Council, and Urban Renewal boards.