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Self Driving Technology: Could It Help Prevent Truck Accidents?

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Self driving technology is poised to become a reality in the United States, impacting regular motorists along with people who make their living behind the wheel. Proponents in the trucking industry claim that it could help to reduce the rate of truck accidents and injuries. Those against it are concerned that by decreasing the role of drivers, it would eliminate jobs.

Self Driving Technology

Self driving automation is heralded as being the wave of the future, and the country is closer than most people think to seeing these types of vehicles on the road. According to a September CBS News report, it has already undergone initial test runs in select major cities, and has the support and backing of some of the country’s largest companies. Uber and Google have been aggressive in seeking ways to development and implement this technology, while Domino’s Pizza recently partnered with Ford Motors to begin testing driverless cars for making pizza deliveries.

The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) classifies self driving vehicles in five distinct categories based on capabilities:

  1. Driver Assistance: Requires human driver to monitor the driving environment while providing assistance with steering and the speed of the vehicle.
  2. Partial Automation: Continues to require the driver to monitor, but the system controls steering and speed.
  3. Conditional Automation: System controls steering, speed, and monitors the environment while requesting information from the driver as needed.
  4. High Automation: Controls all aspects of driving and may request information, but capable of operating the vehicle if the driver fails to respond.
  5. Full automation: Handles all aspects of vehicle operation, eliminating the need for a human driver.

Self Driving Trucks

CBS reports that in the course of moving the estimated 10.5 tons of goods that get transported each year in the U.S., the trucking industry relies on roughly 3.5 million drivers, and loses roughly in $50 billion a year in costs related to traffic tie ups and congestion. This is in addition to the amounts needed to settle personal injury claims as the result of truck accidents, which claim the lives of 4,000 people annually while causing serious injuries for tens of thousands of others. In 90 percent of cases, a lack of proper training and reckless behaviors on the part of truck drivers is to blame for these accidents.

Transport Topics states that executives from the trucking industry attended Senate hearings in September to testify how automated driving technology might be implemented by the trucking industry:

  • Focusing on driver assistance, rather than full automation;
  • Retraining drivers to provide support for a specific block of automated trucks, overseeing functions and managing trips.

While trucking unions are not in agreement, industry executive’s claim this could lower costs, increase productivity, and reduce trucking accidents.

Let Us Assist You with Your Case

Trucking accidents often result in serious and potentially life threatening injuries for other drivers. In these situations, the Wexler Law Firm, P.A. provides the aggressive legal representation you need to recover. Call or contact Gregg Wexler online and request a free consultation to discuss the types of compensation you may be entitled to today.

Resources:

sae.org/misc/pdfs/automated_driving.pdf

ttnews.com/articles/drivers-remain-essential-amid-autonomous-technology-trucking-execs-tell-senate-panel

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