Autonomous vehicles are a fairly common topic of discussion these days. The chief operating officer (COO) of one company, Plus.ai, believes that self-driving semitrucks might actually be ready for the roads before driverless cars. These findings came late last year when one of the company’s trucks hauled butter from California to Pennsylvania.
During that 2,800 mile, three-day trip, there were humans on board. One was a safety driver and the other was a safety engineer. Neither professional had to step in to help the automated vehicle. They only stopped for planned breaks.
That isn’t the only driverless semi that’s hit the roads. Kodiak Robotics has autonomous semitrucks operating in Texas. That company’s vice president touted the safety points of these vehicles. One of the positives that stood out was that the automation won’t suffer from distractions. The AI program won’t be thinking about finishing the haul. Instead, it will simply follow the safety program that’s written into it.
But, does this mean that autonomous semitrucks are a safer option than ones operated by truckers? The best answer to that is that there just isn’t enough information about them yet to make a determination. What’s clear is that these vehicles are becoming more commonplace as companies begin to test them on the public roads across the country.
Another point about safety is that these trucks could operate when roads are less congested, such as the overnight hours. This could relieve some road congestion during popular travel times. That in itself could improve safety.
Because the introduction of autonomous vehicles is still so new, there are a lot of unknowns. These include how claims for compensation will be handled if there are crashes caused by the driverless vehicles. If you’re in a crash like this, working with an attorney who has been keeping abreast of the developments in this field might be beneficial.