Autonomous trucking start-up Starsky Robotics – a San Francisco based company that that uses remote driving capabilities – is launching a program that offers long-term career opportunities for experienced truck drivers to join the company’s 36 truck fleet of human-powered units.
Starsky Robotics Founder and CEO Stefan Seltz-Axmacher says his company uses its growing traditional trucking business as a captive source of safe, experienced and well-trained drivers to staff its safety and remote driver team. The fleet, he says, has already hauled more than 2,000 loads.
“Driving trucks is extremely tough and so is finding the right drivers to be a part of this unique opportunity,” he says. “We’re able to get to know our drivers over the course of a few months to see if they have what it takes to advance into being a safety driver and eventually into a tele-op driver.”
The goal of the program is to hire on traditional over-the-road drivers and move them along to become a safety driver that ensures the safe operation of autonomous driving. The career path could also lead to a job as a remote driver.
The campaign slogan, “The future of driverless trucking is not driverless,” is a reference to Starsky’s unique combination of human decision-making and automation. Starsky’s platform removes the driver from the truck by perfecting autonomous technology for highway driving but retains the driver’s expertise for remote controlled driving on the first and last mile. Starsky says its approach provides drivers with better work-life balance, fair wages, and rewarding promotional opportunities.
At Starsky, drivers get a chance to play a bigger role in a company that doesn’t require them to sit in a truck for endless hours and weeks while technology enables them to eventually remain close to their families and have a more balanced personal life.