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Driverless Semi-Trucks to Roll Out on U.S. Roads

Concept of a self-driving tractor-trailer on the highway.

In recent years, driverless ride-sharing vehicles have been seen in cities, but the technology continues to evolve and expand. Later this year, Aurora Innovation Inc. plans to put autonomous 18-wheelers on roads in Texas.

Self-driving semis raise questions about safety

While the promise of autonomous trucks holds potential benefits, such as increased efficiency and reduced human error, it also raises significant safety concerns. According to a CBS News report, a poll found that about 66 percent of people are afraid to ride in an autonomous vehicle. Trucks are computer-controlled vehicles, and computers will make errors that could result in truck accidents, a professor who studies vehicle automation told CBS.

How do autonomous trucks work?

Autonomous vehicles rely on a complex network of sensors, cameras, and artificial intelligence algorithms to navigate the roads without human intervention. Aurora and other companies that have invested in self-driving semis say they believe autonomous trucks will be safer than vehicles driven by humans. Safety issues such as driver fatigue, distraction, or impairments by drugs or alcohol are no longer a factor.

What are the risks of autonomous trucking?

One of the primary concerns surrounding self-driving tractor-trailers is the potential for technical malfunctions or software errors. Computer glitches or mechanical failures could have disastrous consequences. In the event of a malfunction, autonomous trucks may struggle to react appropriately to unexpected obstacles or hazardous road conditions, increasing the risk of accidents.

The following are the main causes of accidents with self-driving trucks:

  • Software malfunction: Software needs to be programmed to recognize hazards on the road. For example, a truck must stop for a pedestrian in a crosswalk. A software problem could have deadly consequences.
  • Driver error: For now, trucks have drivers who can take control of the automated vehicle, but they may be distracted and fail to react appropriately in an emergency.
  • Improper maintenance or loading: Even self-driving trucks can crash due to negligent maintenance and care. Examples include tire blowouts, brake failure, broken headlights or taillights, and improperly loaded trailers.

What to do after an accident with a self-driving truck

Determining liability in accidents involving self-driving tractor-trailers can be incredibly complex. An accident resulting in injuries or death could be the fault of a software developer as well as the trucking company. The trucking company might deny any responsibility and shift blame to a manufacturer.

Victims of accidents with autonomous trucks may benefit from working with a skilled truck accident lawyer. The attorney can conduct a thorough investigation to determine the root cause of the incident and hold those responsible for any resulting harm accountable.

The Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone, serving all of Massachusetts, has experience handling all types of truck accidents. We are prepared to investigate self-driving truck accidents and hold responsible parties accountable.

Truck accidents involving injury or death can be complex when a human driver is involved. They only become more complicated in crashes involving autonomous semis.

You don’t have to go it alone. Contact us for a free consultation if you have been injured in an accident. We don’t get paid unless we obtain a settlement. With our law firm on your side, you will have peace of mind. Tell them you mean business!

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If you were injured or a loved one was injured or killed in an accident in Boston, Worcester, Springfield or Holyoke, a personal injury lawyer can fight to help you obtain compensation you deserve. At the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone, serving Massachusetts, our personal injury attorneys have an impressive record of trial verdicts and settlements.

Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone