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How Automated Trucks Will Affect The Industry


Automated trucks will have a profound impact on the trucking industry. As technology improves, the reality of automated cars and trucks is becoming a likelihood. Proponents point to safer roadways and fewer accidents. Skeptics claim that automation could increase accidents and take away jobs. It is uncertain how fault will be determined when automated vehicles crash. A trucking accident attorney could answer questions regarding an accident with an automated vehicle.

Automated Trucks Are Already Here

Otto, a startup purchased by Uber, made the world's first autonomous truck delivery in 2016. The truck was outfitted with thousands of dollars of equipment. The technology only works on highways, however. Otto insists that the aim isn't to put drivers out of work but to make truckers more like commercial pilots. Once the system is engaged, the driver can safely take a nap, have a snack, or complete paperwork.

Proponents Argue That Automation Is Safer

Nearly 4,000 people died in large truck crashes in 2015, and human error is most often the blame. Proponents argue that automated trucks:

  • Are safer and will result in fewer accidents
  • Are more energy efficient
  • Can improve shipping times
  • Will decrease the costs associated with shipping

Critics Raise Safety Concern With Untested Technology

While airplane pilots have long used the autopilot, the idea of something similar in a car or truck makes many drivers wary. However, autonomous technology is already in use. Safety concerns are valid, especially considering the limited amount of data available.

Who Is Responsible After An Automated Vehicle Causes An Accident?

Car accidents for automated vehicles are rare simply because automated vehicles are still rare. Critics bring up safety concerns, especially for the period when automated cars and trucks will be sharing the roadways with human drivers.

A Google car detected a pile of sandbags around a storm drain, blocking its path. The vehicle moved to the center lane to avoid the sandbags but seconds later hit the side of a bus. Who is responsible for the damages?

Experts propose that companies responsible for the hardware and software will shoulder the blame after an accident. The car owner or the insurance company would not be responsible for paying for the damages.

It is likely that determining fault will be difficult as technology progresses, highlighting the need for an experienced lawyer. Anyone involved in an accident with an automated truck should consider contacting a trucking accident attorney.

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