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Trucks may drive themselves in the future

The idea of commercial truck drivers resting while their vehicles are moving may seem scary to Kentucky residents. However, the American Transportation Research Institute believes that autonomous trucks may soon allow rest and productivity to occur simultaneously. In a report, the ATRI discussed how the implementation of autonomous trucks could change the trucking industry.

The ATRI said that truck drivers should not worry about their jobs going away as a result of self-driving vehicle technology. Autonomous trucks that are capable of driving on their own would still require a human to come along for the ride. As autonomous trucks move down the highways, the ATRI says that truck operators could work on non-driving related tasks and logistics. Drivers may also be able to get rest while their trucks are moving, which could lead to changes in hours-of-service limits.

There are many infrastructure changes that would need to be made in order to get autonomous trucks on the roads. For example, the nation's highways need to be smoother for self-driving trucks to operate successfully. Another roadblock for autonomous trucks is cost, as adding autonomous technology to one new truck would cost around $30,000. Maintenance of autonomous technology and the possibility of cyber attacks are also concerns.

Commercial trucks that do not have autonomous technology require well-rested and alert truck drivers. Many of the serious truck accidents that occur are caused by drivers that were exhausted from lack of sleep, distracted by technology or impaired by drugs or alcohol. An occupant of another vehicle who was injured in such an accident may want to obtain the assistance of counsel when seeking financial compensation for medical bills and other losses.

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