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Driverless Long-haul Trucks Are Coming
Fortune Magazine has reported that 90% of long-haul trucking may soon be self-driving, with 18-wheelers in development and smaller self-driving trucks already tested on U.S. roadways.
Self-driving trucks have been hailed by the trucking industry as an answer to the increased demand for shipping and a long-term solution to the truck driver shortage. Trucking companies claim that driverless rigs can triple the number of hours on the road. Opponents say the technology will make trucking – and the roads they travel - less safe.
The U.S. Department of Transportation has set aside $100 million to complete research on the self-driving trend, but U.S. trucking companies have already invested hundreds of millions of dollars in autonomous technology.
To date, self-driving trucks are limited to the southern “Sun Belt” states where the climate is warm and sunny and the weather is generally good, since autonomous trucks don’t work well in fog or snow. Additionally, autonomous rigs need high-speed 5G Internet connections in order to “read” traffic signals and communicate with each other, and that infrastructure doesn’t exist in parts of the country.
Labor unions are against the technology, citing a potential loss of 500,000 jobs, and the American Association for Justice voiced a concern of the driverless industry being exempt from basic safety standards and legal accountability.
Trucking accidents can happen for many reasons. If you have been injured in one and need a Philadelphia attorney successful in litigating trucking accident lawsuits, contact us to talk about the details of your case. We may be able to help.