Will Self-Driving Big Rig Semi Truck Lessen Liability for Trucking Industry?


Will Self-Driving Big Rig Semi Truck Lessen Liability for Trucking Industry?

This week, it’s being revealed that those new self-driving cars being tested by Google are having accidents and crashes. These are vehicles that do more than cruise control and automatic speed limits: these are vehicles that steer the vehicle as well, making the human being being the wheel unnecessary.

For details on the self-driving car crashes, read “SELF-DRIVING CARS CAN’T AVOID ACCIDENTS ON CALIFORNIA ROADS.”

Self-Driving Trucks Hit the U.S. Highways This Month

Which brings to the other big news in personal injury accident issues on Indiana and Illinois roads this week: the debut of the self-driving big rig semi truck. Already, the State of Nevada has approved these monsters to drive the Nevada highways where trucking companies are excited to test out these new gizmos driving vehicles in excess of 80,000 lbs. along public roadways.

Safer Roads or Bigger Profits?

The self-driving big rig semi trucks still have a licensed commercial truck driver behind the wheel. The difference is that the truck driver is freed up “to answer email” and other matters while the gizmo, similar to the Google cars, not only monitors speed but manuevers the truck along the roadway based upon tracking the yellow and white lines painted on the asphalt. If there’s a problem, a signal sounds to alert the driver that he needs to take the wheel.

The trucking industry is VERY excited about these new self-driving trucks. They dream of days to come where a caravan of self-driving big rigs move along the American Highway and perhaps only that truck in front has a human being overseeing things, ready to take control if needed.

Thing is, an argument can be made that this isn’t about driver fatigue or truck safety as much as it is about greater profits for trucking companies so they can move as much cargo as fast as possible along their routes.

How this impacts liability claims and crashes in our post on Thursday.

Here’s a video of the new self-driving commercial trucks:

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