For years, experts have anticipated that self-driving vehicles would be coming to our roads soon. However, this new technology has hit several roadblocks in the past few years. These incidents have brought the safety of self-driving cars into question. So, why are companies bringing a new wave of autonomous trucks to test in Texas?
Our truck accident lawyer from Sherman, Texas takes a closer look at recent developments and how they could affect you.
More Autonomous Trucks Are Coming to Texas
Back in July, Aurora, an autonomous vehicle tech company owned by Amazon, announced it would test self-driving trucks in Texas. It has targeted the Dallas-Fort Worth Area as its headquarters for the new project. It will start out using minivans to test its technology before moving to Class 8 trucks. Even more shocking is that it will not be the only company testing autonomous trucks in the area.
Waymo, a division of Alphabet Inc., which is the parent company of Google, is also testing self-driving trucks in the Dallas area. The company plans to use I-10, I-20 and I-45 to send self-driving trucks to Houston, El Paso and Phoenix. Actual drivers will drive the routes before the self-driving tech gets a chance to drive. However, there are several concerns that companies must address when testing these technologies.
The Problem With Testing Autonomous Trucks in Texas
Though Texas law has not put up any roadblocks to autonomous vehicle testing, there are still concerns. Several incidents in recent years have brought the safety of self-driving vehicles into question. In California, the driver of a Telsa vehicle lost his life when his vehicle crashed while in auto-pilot mode. In Arizona, a woman walking her bike across the street was struck by an Uber autonomous vehicle. She did not survive.
In the Arizona case, Uber confirmed that the vehicle saw the woman as she was crossing the street. However, an error in the vehicle’s programming prevented it from slowing down or stopping. The safety driver who was in the vehicle was not paying attention to the road right before the collision occurred.
Incidents like these have shaken the public’s confidence in self-driving technology. Even the Texas A&M Transportation Institute has acknowledged that teaching computers to drive has been harder than expected.
Despite these incidents, Texas lawmakers are continuing to allow autonomous vehicle testing in our state. This could prove dangerous for Texas drivers. Self-driving tech companies are focusing on the commercial trucking industry as a current target. Shipping routes are simpler to work with than domestic transportation. Also, the shipping industry is eager for the tech due to driver shortages. But these large vehicles can cause more serious damage in a traffic collision.
What Do I Do If I Am in an Accident With an Autonomous Truck?
So far, when self-driving vehicles have gotten into wrecks, the company owning that vehicle has had to take responsibility. With the aid of an attorney, those injured have filed lawsuits against these companies. These cases usually settle before going to trial, but getting a fair settlement is not easy.
Companies that own and test self-driving cars are huge. They have teams of lawyers working to minimize the costs related to any crash. Do not face these companies without legal representation that can stand up for your rights.
At David K. Wilson & Associates, Attorneys at Law, we have the experience you need to face these legal teams. Our Texas truck accident lawyer is familiar with the strategies used to reduce compensation for the injured. We can help you beat those strategies and get the fair compensation that you deserve.