It sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie, but there’s a robot truck mechanic in your backyard.
But you can’t build one right now.
But that may soon change thanks to an industry that’s been quietly growing for years.
Automotive industry experts say the future of truck mechanics is about to be opened up to all, and that they need to have a solid understanding of how to operate their machines to make it work.
And that’s something many people don’t have.
In an industry where most people are in their 30s and 40s, it can be hard to find people who are ready to become mechanics.
Some people can’t get a driver’s licence, others can’t afford to pay for the training required, and there’s no certification for the trade.
That leaves the people who do have a driving licence struggling to learn the skills required to be an auto mechanic.
But one industry group is trying to change that.
The Canadian Trucking Association (CTA) is working with its member companies to create an online certificate that people can take online and take to a commercial vehicle inspection (CVI).
“If we’re going to have the opportunity to train people who aren’t yet in their career, we’ve got to start teaching them the skills that they’re going through right now,” says Todd St. Laurent, the president and CEO of the CTA.
He believes that’s where the future is, as people can apply for jobs online, learn the basic skills required, then apply for certification through the certification centre and be on their way.
And this is what the CTAs digital certificate is designed to do.
A driver’s license and a driver exam is required to apply to be a truck driver.
But there are several things that make the digital certificate different from the traditional vehicle inspection: the digital driver’s training will be done on an online platform, not a physical vehicle; the certification will be conducted online, rather than a physical inspection; and it will take about 10 days to complete.
And if you apply for a job online, it won’t be until you’re in a vehicle with a human that the certification process starts.
But St. Louis says the certificates are important.
“This is the beginning of a new wave of the driver training, so this is a very good time to get into it,” he says.
St.-Louis believes there’s an increasing need for drivers who are trained to be on the road, not just on the street.
“People who are coming in to the industry for the first time, they’re not familiar with the truck business, they haven’t had any experience in the industry, and they don’t understand how they need the skills to get through the transition,” he said.
“So these are the kinds of people who could really help this industry to really get on its feet and to get to the next level.”
Louis says the online certification will give people the skills they need if they are to become truckers.
“The best thing about it is you can have a digital certificate and go online and get a digital driver training,” he adds.
“And then when you go out in the field and you get on a truck and you have to move around and have to maintain a balance, then you need that training.”
For now, St.
Laurels group is looking at certifying just about any industry that has a need for a mechanic.
“There’s so many different types of things that need to be done to make sure we have a robust safety network for the truck industry, so we can have that level of safety,” he explains.
The CTAs online certification is the first step, but the industry is looking to the digital certification as a way to ensure that truck drivers are trained and have a safe future.
St-Louis says that’s a big step for the industry.
“It’s a step in the right direction.
It’s going to take a long time to see a real impact on truck safety, but it’s something we’re definitely looking forward to,” he told CBC News.
“Truck safety is one of the most important things for us to do.”
St-Lauress hopes that with the certification, the industry can move forward with a better safety network.
“When you have a good safety network, you’re not going to see these kinds of incidents as much,” he added.
But with the challenges facing the industry right now, many industry experts think the digital certifications are unlikely to make a huge difference in the future.
“What it does do is it gives you some certainty about whether you’re going in to be the next truck driver, or you’re a certified truck mechanic.
That’s really important, because you need to know that your certification will work for you,” says St- Louis.