Connecticut truck drivers spend enormous amounts of time on the road. This keeps them away from their families, and it also creates a potential risk of driving while fatigued. The co-founder of Starsky Robotics believes that autonomous commercial trucks may allow truck drivers to spend more time at home and to still work, but they’ll be able to do so in a safer environment.
One of the biggest issues with automating trucks is that it is difficult for computer systems to handle the final mile, which is the delivery of goods. Starsky Robotics has designed a system that allows truck drivers to remotely drive commercial trucks in a manner that is similar to the way that people are able to fly unmanned drones.
Using the cameras and radar that are necessary for on-board computers to control a truck, truck drivers are able to see what a truck is doing and avoid crashing into anything. They have the ability to remotely control the steering, transmission and gears, and they use a steering wheel and pedals to control the truck. A successful test, with a driver in the truck, has already been completed, and it covered 140 miles and 85 percent of the driving was autonomous.
As it now stands, when a person is injured in a tractor-trailer crash, the liability may rest with either the driver or the employer of the driver. With autonomous trucks on the horizon, the number of accidents might be reduced, but no technology is perfect. An attorney representing a person who has been injured in a crash involving a self-driving truck may determine that the manufacturer of the technology should be held financially responsible if it can be demonstrated that there was a software failure.