Driverless Trucking May Be Here Sooner Than You Think

Posted on behalf of RizkLaw on Aug 26, 2020 in Auto Accident

driverless-truckA new billion-dollar industry is poised to leap into action, and the stakes are high. Global tech companies, such as Tesla and Google, are competing against smaller start-up companies. Each competitor is hoping to emerge as the new billion-dollar king of the road. What is the technology that they are hoping will put them there?  Driverless big rig trucks.

Rizk Law shares an article about the high stakes, technological advances and, of course, the inevitable pitfalls and challenges that await drivers who will be traveling on the road with these autonomous giants.

Truck accidents of any kind are notorious for causing serious injuries. If negligence was involved, you may be able to pursue compensation against the at-fault party for your injuries and other damages. Call our firm and schedule your zero-cost legal consultation to learn more. This is a completely confidential opportunity to get answers to your legal questions, and there is no obligation to hire our firm.

How Soon Will America See Driverless Trucks on the Highways?

Driverless trucks are burning rubber on our roadways already. For the time-being, however, these quarter-of-a-million-dollar trucks are only going out on test runs. Many tech companies have been putting prototypes on public roads for months, all armed with a human driver to monitor the vehicle.

However, last summer, Starsky Robotics, a tech startup, was the first company to send one of their driverless trucks out on a busy highway for a test run. The milestone test happened one hot Sunday last summer on the Florida Turnpike. What made this run so astounding is that there was no backup human driver behind the wheel to keep the onboard computers company.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Technology can be a wonderful thing, and on the good side of driverless trucking, these vehicles do have some notable advantages to their human counterparts. The computers on these commercial trucks are capable of scanning 1000 meters out, enabling them to “see” distracted drivers, slow-moving vehicles, sheriff’s cars, disabled vehicles and more.

According to Maureen Fitzgerald, a veteran trucker with over 30 years of experience, these driverless trucks can react faster to issues on the road. In fact, this now official safety “babysitter,” says from behind the wheel, these automated trucks can react “15 times faster than I could.”

There are some not-so-good issues with this new technology. For instance, since these computers can read and store license plate data, there may be some privacy concerns. Although there is no known database for accessing personal details, TuSimple, the billion-dollar company behind this technology does collect and store this information and more. The data collected is gathered and uploaded by every truck on the road.

60 Minutes recently interviewed Chuck Price, the Chief Product Officer at TuSimple, and was told that the company, with operations based both in the U.S. and in China, currently only utilizes this information to perfect its performance on the road.

The truly ugly factor when this transition takes place is the significant job loss that will occur. Initially, the expected head count is determined to be about 300,000 truckers. The two trucking segments that are slated to be hit first are likely refrigerated and dry van truckers, followed by line haul truckers. However, considering there are more than two million Americans who drive these big rigs for a living, that number is just the tip of the iceberg.

Most of Fitzgerald’s two million fellow truckers are less enthusiastic. Automated trucking threatens to jack-knife an entire $800 billion industry. Trucking is among the most common jobs for Americans without a college education.

Contact Rizk Law for Legal Help After a Truck Accident

When truck accidents happen, there are often serious, sometimes fatal, injuries. At Rizk Law, we have been helping victims injured in truck collisions and other types of motor vehicle accidents throughout Oregon for over twenty years. During that time, we have obtained millions in compensation for these clients, and we are prepared to do the same for you. If you have a case, we will fight to hold at-fault parties accountable and pursue maximum compensation on your behalf.

Call to arrange your completely free consultation with one of our Portland car accident lawyers. Our representatives are standing by to take your call anytime, day or night.