Many people living in Georgia work as commercial truck drivers, but technological advances could change the nature of their jobs in the future. A new tech startup has been testing its autonomous system with drivers in the cab, but the company plans to ultimately remove in-cab operators and only use remotely based drivers.
The new technology that has been developed can retrofit an existing tractor-trailer with steering, braking, transmission and throttle controls that the trucker can operate remotely from an office. The data collected by a truck’s sensors and cameras provide an operator with a live-action view of the surroundings. When running in autonomous mode, the truck is self-driving, but a trucker in the cab or at a remote location can override the system.
Extensive tests of the system have been conducted in trucking yards, and they proved to be successful. The company also reported that a 140-mile test run with a driver in the cab went well. For 85 percent of the trip, the truck operated in autonomous mode. One of the enterprise’s co-founders said the goal was to improve working conditions for truck operators and allow them to stay home more often.
Traditional truckers are often required to spend long hours behind the wheel in order to meet delivery deadlines. Truck driver fatigue and trucking companies taking maintenance shortcuts have been known to contribute to crashes. Someone who has been hurt in a truck accident might have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit. An attorney could collect evidence from an accident report, witness testimony or trucking logs, and this information might support the victim’s claim and result in a settlement that covers his or her medical bills and any lost wages.