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Self-Driving Trucks: A 2023 Update - Jones Law Group

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Self-Driving Trucks: A 2023 Update

Self-driving trucks, or autonomous trucks, have been a hot topic in the transportation industry for several years. The technology behind self-driving trucks has been rapidly evolving, and many companies have been testing and deploying them on roads worldwide.

Imagine the possibilities autonomous trucks could offer. No longer would fatigued or impaired human drivers cause devastating accidents. Instead of dreading being near 80,000-pound commercial vehicles on a crowded highway, motorists could breathe much easier.

However, as impressive as these trucks may be, they can still pose a risk for others on the road. If something goes wrong, a self-driving truck accident can cause catastrophic injuries and deaths.

If you’ve suffered an injury or lost a loved one in an accident caused by an autonomous truck, contact Jones Law Group. Our team of attorneys will determine who is to blame and then pursue them for the maximum compensation you deserve.

Use our online contact form or call (727) 571-1333 for a free consultation.

What Trucks Have Autonomous Driving?

Several companies have been testing and deploying self-driving trucks on roads worldwide. Some of the most notable companies include Kodiak Robotics, TuSimple, and Embark Technology. These companies have been developing self-driving trucks capable of navigating highways, avoiding obstacles, and handling various weather conditions.

Waymo, owned by Alphabet Inc., has been testing self-driving trucks in Arizona since 2017. Waymo’s self-driving trucks come equipped with lidar, radar, and cameras to navigate the roads.

Tesla, on the other hand, has been working on developing electric semi-trucks with autonomous driving technology. Tesla’s semi-trucks are designed to have a range of up to 500 miles on a single charge and are equipped with cameras and sensors to assist with autonomous driving.

Are Fully Self-Driving Trucks on Florida Roads in 2023?

It’s unclear how many autonomous trucks are on Florida roads. Kodiak Robotics announced in July 2022 that it had expanded its autonomous line to our state after completing a successful cross-country run.

Florida has been working on developing regulations for autonomous vehicles. In 2019, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill that allows self-driving vehicles to operate on public roads without a human operator. The bill also establishes a framework for the testing and deployment of self-driving vehicles in the state.

However, the full deployment of self-driving trucks in Florida will depend on whether the technology is safe and reliable for public use. It will also depend on the public’s acceptance of self-driving trucks.

Will Self-Driving Trucks Replace Truck Drivers?

Whether self-driving trucks will replace truck drivers is a contentious issue. Some argue that self-driving trucks will reduce the need for truck drivers. Meanwhile, others argue that self-driving trucks will create new jobs in the transportation industry.

Self-driving trucks can potentially improve safety and efficiency in the transportation industry. They can operate for longer hours without rest breaks. They also avoid accidents and traffic jams. Automated commercial vehicles could help make up for a shortage of qualified human drivers.

But most companies aren’t yet ready to completely turn the task of hauling freight to automated trucks. In most instances, self-driving trucks still require a human operator to supervise the technology and take over in emergencies.

If a task can’t be automated, it’s the truck driver’s responsibility. These include loading and unloading cargo, navigating complex delivery routes, and interacting with customers. Therefore, it is unlikely that self-driving trucks will completely replace truck drivers in the near future.

How do Autonomous Trucks Handle Hazards?

Autonomous trucks have a range of sensors and cameras that enable them to detect and avoid hazards on the road. Some autonomous trucks have other advanced technology, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms.

These sensors, cameras, and software can detect obstacles, pedestrians, and other vehicles on the road and adjust the truck’s speed and direction to avoid collisions.

Manufacturers are also working on ways for autonomous trucks to handle tire blowouts. Kodiak, for example, produced a video in 2022 showing how its self-driving truck was able to navigate a blowout. The truck could safely come to a stop while staying in its lane.

What if an Autonomous Truck Causes an Accident?

If an autonomous truck causes an accident, determining liability can be complicated. Liability can depend on several factors, such as whether the accident occurred due to a malfunction in the autonomous technology or whether the human operator failed to take control of the truck when necessary.

In the case of an accident involving an autonomous truck, the trucking company and the manufacturer of the autonomous technology may both be held liable. The trucking company may be held liable for any negligence by the human operator or for failing to maintain the autonomous technology properly. The autonomous technology manufacturer may be held liable for any defects that contributed to the accident.

Notably, liability in accidents involving autonomous trucks is still a developing area of law. Legislators may introduce new laws and regulations as the technology continues to evolve and become more widespread. These laws and rules will address liability and other issues related to autonomous vehicle accidents.

Steps to Take if You’re Injured by a Self-Driving Vehicle

If you suffer an injury in an accident involving a self-driving vehicle,  you should take these steps to protect your legal rights.

  • Seek medical attention: Your health and safety should be your top priority. Seek medical attention as soon as possible after the accident.
  • Document the scene: If possible, take photos or videos of the accident scene and any damage to your vehicle or property.
  • Get contact information: Obtain the contact information of the autonomous truck’s operator, the trucking company, and any witnesses to the accident.
  • Contact an attorney: Consult a skilled truck accident attorney who can advise you of your legal options and help you pursue compensation for your injuries.

Contact Jones Law Group to Speak with a Truck Accident Attorney ASAP

The attorneys with Jones Law Group deeply understand the complexities of trucking accidents and can help you pursue the compensation you deserve.

We offer free consultations and work on a contingency fee basis. You only pay if we win! Contact us via our online form or call (727) 571-1333 to schedule a consultation and learn how we can help you.

About the Author

Heath Murphy is a partner at Jones Law Group and focuses on personal injury law. He has been working as a lawyer for 18 years and routinely writes about auto accidents, wrongful death, and personal injury laws.

Read more: Heath’s Bio