Autonomous Trucks Cleared To Drive on US Roads

Freightliner’s new line of autonomous trucks, the Inspiration, recently received approval to drive on US highways in Nevada, and the Peterbilt line of driverless diesels will soon join them. The new autonomous trucks are designed to make the roads safer and may be making their way to Texas soon.

Safety Considerations

Supporters of self-driving vehicles say they are safer than those operated by humans. Autonomous vehicles don’t drive while tired, drunk, under the influence, or while texting. Even though the law mandates that trucking companies require their drivers to follow a strict sleep schedule and log their hours, there are still many preventable truck accidents caused by fatigue, human error or failure to follow the law and/or guidelines.

Driverless trucks know how to stay in their own lane, change speeds, avoid collisions, and certainly don’t get angry or cut other drivers off intentionally. These new autonomous trucks are equipped with dash-cameras that range 100 meters in order to read road signage, keep the trucks in the correct lane, and scan for vehicles they may need to avoid.

 

Fuel Conservation

Driverless vehicles are neither hesitant nor heavy-footed. They drive the speed limit, and their acceleration and deceleration are smooth and even – which helps to prevent rear-end collisions and saves on fuel consumption. Autonomous truck convoys drafting one behind the other could use less fuel as air resistance is reduced. Communication between the trucks would coordinate changes in speed and direction.

 

The Future of Autonomous Vehicles

Currently, the autonomous license to drive Nevada’s freeways requires a person to ride in the driver’s seat in case human intervention is required. Time will tell if these autonomous vehicles will actually make our roads safer.

Have you been involved in a truck accident in the Austin area? Call the experienced truck accident professionals at Terry & Kelly, PLLC.  An attorney is always available at 512-910-2000 to provide a free initial consultation and case evaluation.

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