Autonomous automobiles have gained significant traction in the US in recent years. It is logical to assume that the same technology will lead to self-driving freight trucks traveling our nation’s highways. According to a recent article published by online news source Vox, it would seem that the future is now: Startup company TuSimple announced that it is laying the foundation for an entire fleet of autonomous trucks, following in the footsteps of Daimler, Embark, Aurora, and other companies. In a statement, a TuSimple spokesperson noted that it intends to have self-driving commercial vehicles in Florida by 2023.
Self-driving technology for semi-trucks, 18-wheelers, and other large trucks carries many of the same questions as it does for passenger vehicles – namely, safety concerns and the potential for serious collisions. It is critical to retain a Miami truck accidents lawyer no matter who was behind the wheel during your accident, but some background on the pros and cons of self-driving trucks can be informative.
Self-Driving Freight Trucks Offer Numerous Safety Advantages
When you learn the benefits of autonomous vehicles for transporting cargo, you can see why self-driving trucks are soon to become a reality on our nation’s roads:
- Reduced Driver Fatigue: Despite federal regulations on Hours of Service, the issue of truck operator drowsiness continues to plague the trucking industry. Through their own poor judgment or encouragement by trucking companies, drivers often violate the laws, becoming fatigued as they work longer hours.
- Remove Human Error: Even when driving as safely as possible, human error is still a factor in all motor vehicle crashes. Split-second decision making is often necessary, and the wrong move can be deadly. Autonomous vehicles can prevent this issue because their actions are based on programming.
- Avoid Truck Driver Distractions: Many truck drivers are conscientious about not using cell phones, but other distractions can be just as hazardous. Self-driving trucks would not be affected by adjusting the radio, eating, drinking, or using a GPS.
The Downside of Autonomous Freight Trucks
With the pros in mind, you should also review some of the cons of self-driving commercial vehicles.
- An autonomous semi must still have a qualified operator on board to take over manually as necessary. As a result, drivers need additional education and training to ensure safe operation.
- Technology cannot completely replace a human behind the wheel when it comes to unpredictable, unforeseeable events that the programming does not address.
- Liability in the event of a truck accident can be challenging when faulty technology and human error combine. The potential parties to a claim – the driver, employer, a shipper, the self-driving technology manufacturer, and others – will certainly point fingers at each other, complicating the legal process.
Trust a Miami Truck Accidents Attorney to Assist With Your Case
If you were involved in any type of truck accident, you have rights as an injured victim. Our lawyers at Gerson & Schwartz, PA can assist with your legal remedies so please contact our offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach, FL today. Once we learn more about your story, we can explain your options for seeking compensation.