Self-Driving Trucks May Come Before Driverless Cars
Never mind self-driving cars – how do you feel about self-driving trucks?
We’ve been hearing a lot about self-driving cars, and the companies promising to roll them out over the next few years. But, if you can imagine it, self-driving trucks may come first.
If you think that sounds counter-intuitive, you’re not alone. Many in the trucking industry are skeptical, and some drivers are nervous – understandably so. We know as well as anyone that when something goes wrong with a car, it’s bad – but when something goes wrong with a truck, it can be so much worse.
However, advocates for this new technology argue that it could make long-haul trucking safer and more efficient. Drowsy driving, for instance, poses a major threat to truckers and the driving public. Autonomous trucks could cut down on the numerous drowsy and distracted driving accidents that occur each year.
Self-Driving but Not Driverless
But would self-driving trucks put truck drivers out of a job? Not necessarily. According to Otto, a start-up recently purchased by Uber, truckers would still be needed to pick up where the technology leaves off, at least for now. Unlike the self-driving cars intended for urban environments, these self-driving trucks are designed to handle highway, not city driving. A driver would still be needed to navigate through suburban and residential areas.
And, of course, there is the question of whether a computer can respond to every situation a driver might encounter on the road. Lior Ron, co-founder of Otto, weighs in. He says that only once the tech is safer, on average, than driving a truck, will they deploy.
If you or someone you love have suffered an injury in a truck accident, or been hurt on the job as a truck driver, contact our truck accident lawyer for a free consultation. We never charge a fee unless we recover damages for you.
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Posted in Truck Accidents.