Reducing the risk of truck accidents may take a science fiction turn for Georgia residents in the near future. The various technical and legal hurdles to adoption of autonomous trucks are being identified and addressed by both the private industry and policymakers. The American Transportation Research Institute's statements point to the need for large infrastructure investments by government and further development of communications technology before other issues can be addressed.
Safety and productivity are the catchwords used by ATRI in promotion of automated trucks. A lower risk of truck accidents will come with serious financial and political costs, however. The group calls for public investment in smoother roadways on highways as well as better signage and instruments for highway-to-vehicle communication.
The benefits of increased safety and productivity will justify the costs, according to ATRI. One of the primary benefits is reduced risk of truck accidents caused by truck driver fatigue. Supporting this are speculations that current federal trucking regulations may be changed to allow drivers a break from the monotony of driving and more time at home. Where workers in some industries can be threatened by the automation of jobs, ATRI claims job security will not be an issue for truckers.
The damage caused by a semi-truck accident may leave a victim seriously injured, and this may affect that person's ability to work. Victims may seek an attorney for assistance in dealing with insurance companies and decisions regarding civil lawsuits. In some cases, if an accident was caused because the truck was not properly maintained, the truck driver's employer may be named as a liable party in a lawsuit as well.