Recently, the United States House passed legislation for driverless cars, but neglected to address how self-driving trucks would be covered under this new bill. Senators want to see self-driving trucks on the road and are disappointed that they are not included in the Self Drive Act. Including trucks in the Self Drive Act would encourage manufacturers to speed up the development process in order to get them to market faster. Safety groups that are not yet convinced of the safety of autonomous commercial trucks lobbied to exclude them from the Self Drive Act. The Teamsters Union also worries about the loss of union jobs if drivers become obsolete.
The Self Drive Act, passed in September 2017, paves the way for the introduction of 25,000 to 100,000 self-driving vehicles every year for several years. The bill speeds up the process by excluding autonomous cars from safety regulations that do not apply to self-driving technology. The bill still gives states the power to determine if and when self-driving cars are permitted on their respective roadways. Under the bill, self-driving vehicles must be less than 10,000 pounds, essentially excluding tractor trailers from the legislation.
Safety and Self-Driving Vehicles
Proponents of self-driving cars and trucks cite safety data already available on autonomous vehicles. Human error and negligence cause 94 percent of all car accidents. Proponents suggest that autonomous vehicles would eliminate the potential for human error. Self Drive Act supporters predict that self-driving cars will eventually reduce traffic fatalities by 90 percent, saving 30,000 lives every year. Google’s fleet of self-driving prototype cars were involved in only 13 minor accidents over 1.8 million miles, all caused by other drivers.
Self-driving cars are not far from becoming a real presence on American roads. If some manufacturers have their way, autonomous trucks will not be far behind them. Teamsters hope to stall that progress, lobbying against legislation that encourages their transition to the market. The U.S. Senate Commerce Committee is meeting with safety advocates, trucking industry executives, and law enforcement officials to discuss the future of self-driving trucks.
Uber and Tesla are both working on autonomous commercial truck technology. Uber’s self-driving truck division, Otto, has already tested commercial vehicles in Colorado, completing a self-driving 120-mile beer delivery. A professional driver on board supervised the entire trip, while autonomous technology did the driving. Uber and Tesla may be onto something with driver-assisted autonomous trucks that preserve jobs while reducing truck accidents.
Columbia Truck Accident Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Fight for Car Accident Victims
Until experts are able to completely reduce the possibility of human error, car and truck accidents remain a sad reality. Victims injured by the negligence of another driver have legal recourse, helping you receive the maximum recovery for your injuries. Call 866-881-8623 or complete our online form to schedule a consultation with an experienced Columbia truck accident lawyer today. Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. have six convenient locations to serve the residents in the greater South Carolina region, including in Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County, as well as the towns of Columbia, Lexington, Irmo, Chapin, Rock Hill, Aiken, Sumter, Newberry, Florence, and Spartanburg.