Georgia truck drivers will still have jobs as automated big rigs become more common, but the industry will change drastically in other ways, according to the American Transportation Research Institute. There is still a great deal of groundwork to be done, including updating infrastructure, before autonomous trucks can play a significant role in the industry. Much of this infrastructure work, which includes smoother highways and communication between highways and vehicles, must be done by the public sector and not private companies.
ATRI released a report that outlined these concerns and others including the need for state and local laws to be consistent in order to facilitate interstate commerce. Other issues that must be addressed include liability, cybersecurity and maintenance.
After these issues are addressed, autonomous vehicles could add significant benefits to truck drivers’ working lives. Drivers will still be required to be in the cab, but will not need to attend to every task of driving, so they can work on logistics. Autonomous trucks may allow drivers to put in fewer hours on the road. They are also expected to cut down on driver fatigue. This is a major cause of truck accidents, and autonomous trucks may also reduce other types of driver error that result in serious crashes.
Until autonomous trucks become widespread, truck accidents will continue to be a danger. They can cause catastrophic injuries to occupants of smaller vehicles who are involved in the collision. When it can be determined that the accident was the result of a truck driver who was impaired, distracted, speeding or otherwise negligent, an attorney could assist an injured victim in seeking appropriate compensation from the at-fault driver and, in some cases, the trucking company.