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The Future of the “No Driver” Trucking Industry and How It Can Affect You

Autonomous vehicles are the future of the auto industry. The fascination that consumers and companies alike have with Automated Driving Systems (ADS) has opened a new era of transportation forcing changes to the traditional means of transportation. This past February alone, companies made over $1.6 billion dollars in investments to the industry, thus marking their eagerness to advance in the market.

Since the autonomous auto industry is relatively new, many consumers question the safety of driverless vehicles. Truth be told, there is very little research that ascertains the safety of these vehicles. Proponents of the industry claim that flooding the streets with self-driving vehicles is going to lead to a decrease in traffic accidents, since a majority of accidents are a direct result of human error. This however, remains to be seen.

With the sudden explosion of the autonomous vehicle industry, manufacturers such as Tesla, Volvo, and newcomer Otto have turned their attention to the trucking industry. Supporters of the innovative truck argue that automated commercial vehicles will make trucking freight not only more economic and overall efficient but that it will also be safer. Whether this is true or not, self-driving commercial vehicles have a way to go before they can hit the streets.

It will certainly cost a lot of jobs; and malfunctions could be catastrophic in consequence.

Government Regulation

Currently, over a dozen states allow for testing of autonomous vehicles. In spite of this, the federal government will be the one to set the rules on large autonomous commercial vehicles. The Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will ultimately regulate autonomous trucks across the nation. Currently, the agency has a planned system of integrating self-driving vehicles onto U.S. highways. Automated vehicles will go through six different levels of driver-assisted technology developments that include:

  1. No Automation – The motorist performs all of the necessary driving tasks.
  2. Driver Assistance – Minimal vehicle assistance will be included in the auto design (many new cars have this capability).
  3. Partial Automation – While some functions may be automated, the driver will need to remain engaged at all times (some high end makes and models have these features).
  4. Conditional Automation – The driver should be prepared to take control of the vehicle but is not needed to power the vehicle.
  5. High Automation – While the vehicle may perform all functions, the motorist may have the option to operate the vehicle.
  6. Full Automation – The automobile will be capable of performing all tasks, at all times. The driver may not have the option to operate the vehicle.

With the Future of the Trucking and Autonomous Vehicle Industry, Protect Your Rights and Seek the Legal Guidance of a Personal Injury Attorney

Before autonomous commercial vehicles can flood American highways, they will need to go through a series of strict state and federal regulations. Even with the amount of testing these vehicles will be subjected to, the industry can expect failures and accidents, as the safety and security of these vehicles remains to be seen; and defects and failures will occur.

If a reckless driver operating a traditional vehicle or an autonomous car has injured you, there are laws that protect your rights. Consider seeking the legal advice of a professional personal injury attorney. By filing a claim against the careless driving, you may be able to recover monetary compensation for your injuries.

The personal injury attorneys at Heiting & Irwin are highly skilled in the field of personal injury lawsuits involving car accidents. If you or someone you know was injured in an auto accident, contact the support of a competent team of attorneys today.

James Heiting

The only past President of the State Bar of California ever elected from the Inland Empire, James Heiting handles civil litigation matters throughout California, recovering over $300 million for clients, dealing with wrongful death, serious injury, professional malpractice and transportation accidents. Also past President of Riverside’s County Bar, his firm has served the Inland Empire for over 30 years. View Attorney James Otto Heiting's Attorney Bio Here.

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