A startup you’ve more than likely never heard of but will be hearing more about in the future took a driverless semi-truck on a road test in Tampa, Florida earlier this month. Starsky Robotics’ technology controls acceleration, braking, and steering, but the autonomous test, which did include a driver in case something went wrong didn’t go as far as they had hoped. Most of the live coverage of the event was shut down due to the truck not moving for over an hour. The event took place on the Selmon Expressway which was closed to traffic after morning rush hour for the test. The expressway has allowed driverless vehicle testing since 2014, WFLA reported.
According to Wired, Starsky Robotics started testing in the Sunshine State back in mid-February when the company sent its truck on a 7-mile journey — with no one inside. Unlike its competitors, Uber and Embark, that are keeping humans an active part of the driving equation, Starsky doesn’t want humans in tractor-trailer cabs at all. Instead, they want truck driving to become a remote-controlled affair.
Starsky’s trucks will handle the highway miles on their own, and a human will grab the wheel from an office to handle complex surface streets and these new “truck drivers” will work in buildings that look like call centers, monitor 10 to 30 vehicles at a time through video links and use a videogame-controller-like wheel to take control as needed. The world is definitely taking notice, but some are wondering robotic semis could be a benefit and a detriment to the trucking industry.
While driverless semis may help cut down on truck-related crashes on U.S. roadways — which take an estimated 4,000 lives a year, it is also said that these robotic trucks “could threaten the jobs of nearly 3 million people who do the work today,” Wired reported. More importantly, if there is an accident; who would you sue? The owner of the autonomous truck, the driver behind the “wheel, or the maker of the driverless truck? These are all questions that we cannot answer yet but there is one thing for sure. Autonomous vehicles are coming whether we like it or not so those questions will be answered sooner or later.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a Truck, Bus or another vehicle accident, we are here to help. The Truck Accident Law Firm will fight for your rights and the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to learn more about what we will do to fight for you. Call 888-511-TRUCK, all consultations are free and you will not pay a fee until we win for you.