You’ve heard of so-called “autonomous vehicles.” Maybe you’ve even seen one or two on the road. But are you ready for self-driving trucks?
Since 2017, Waymo Via has been testing autonomous trucking in California, as well as Georgia and parts of the Southwest. A combination of sensors, radar and cameras is supposed to allow the trucks and minivans outfitted with the technology to “see” distances up to three football fields in length. Algorithms aim to calculate where everything on the road is going and tell the truck how to avoid collisions.
While the company hasn’t set a date for when these vehicles are going to hit the open road, these “robot trucks” are looking more and more like a real possibility in the future. The company has already raised $3 billion from investors in support of the idea.
According to Waymo, the push for automation is all about safety. There were about 4,000 deaths in accidents involving large trucks in 2018 alone. Generally speaking, trucking deaths have been on the rise, increasing nearly 30% since 2009. That figure is likely only going to rise as American consumers increasingly move toward online shopping and more delivery vehicles are pressed into service. Unlike human drivers, Waymo points out, automated vehicles never “get tired or distracted.”
However, that doesn’t mean they won’t make mistakes. Just like autonomous cars from Tesla or other companies, there are bound to be failures — and failures can lead to accidents. When they happen, people are bound to get injured, and there may be complicated legal issues involved when it comes to assigning blame.
Claims involving truck accidents can be complex. Make sure that you have an experienced attorney on your side if you’re trying to get fair compensation for your losses.