Semi-trucks usually drive more miles than any other passenger vehicles on the roads. No wonder, most accidents are caused by them. The driver’s fatigue, errors, and distractions are among the common causes of semi-truck accidents. On the other hand, it’s possible to avoid these three causes with the help of self-driving technology. The trucking industry is already interested in self-driving semi-trucks, but the question is, “Could they really prevent accidents?”
Is a semi-truck without a driver possible?
Despite all the worries semi-truck drivers have, self-driving trucks will still need drivers who will need to check the safety of the cargo, monitor systems, and make fast decisions when the computer fails. This way, drivers will have an opportunity to get a good night’s sleep, eliminating fatigue, sleep deprivation, and errors.
Will self-driving semi-trucks reduce the number of truck accidents?
Experts still have trouble answering this question. With a greater number of detectors, sensors, and a variety of smart technology, self-driving technology is going to make a semi-truck monitor its surroundings like a highly cautious driver does. This might significantly lower the incidence of semi-truck accidents caused by a driver. The on-board monitoring system of self-driving semi-trucks would be aware of everything happening outside and inside of the truck and respond long before an accident could occur.
This means the smart technology is going to help a driver rather than steal their job. Some technology processes should be carefully checked and monitored by a driver to ward off semi-truck crashes. Moreover, this technology can only be used on the highway. It’s not designed for driving in cities and towns with stop-and-go traffic. Due to this fact, many in the trucking industry are thinking about whether self-driving semi-trucks would decrease the likelihood of accidents or create new ones.
What are the challenges self-driving semi-trucks can face?
Nowadays, there are lots of concerns over frequent changes in state and federal laws, which govern the use of smart technology. Oftentimes, regulations change from one state to another, making it difficult to navigate a computer program. For instance, the highway speeds might be 60-plus mph one moment and 10 mph the other one when an accident happens or during rush hour. The size and type of cargo change the handling and overall weight of a truck.
The semi-truck accident lawyers will still keep helping drivers and this process might become simpler with the appearance of self-driving semi-trucks. But let’s not forget that a lot of truck drivers use experience, intuition, and feelings to ensure their movements are safe on the roadway. The smart technology might not mimic them successfully.
But the biggest problem lies in the cost of one self-driving semi-truck. Not every driver or company can splurge on smart technology. But if experts will prove the effectiveness of it, the trucking industry will increase its profits and prevent semi-truck wrecks.
Self-driving semi-trucks have been a most discussed topic in the trucking industry for a few years. They have the potential to prevent accidents and save people’s lives.