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Trucking companies must prepare for use of autonomous vehicles

On Behalf of | Mar 15, 2024 | Trucking Accident Defense

Kentucky trucking companies must be prepared for potential challenges that can impact their business. One of the biggest problems companies face is if there is an accident and they are confronted with allegations that they are liable for injuries others might have suffered.

Often, this is based on their drivers. Whether it was negligence, recklessness, a lack of qualifications or legal violations, companies can face a litany of obstacles because of it. In some instances, the truck itself was unsafe or poorly maintained.

In recent years, new considerations have come to the forefront. Specifically, autonomous trucks are becoming more prevalent. Knowing how Kentucky is preparing for its influx and what possible dangers exist is a key part of a company’s preparedness and ensuring it is legally shielded if something goes wrong.

Kentucky set to allow autonomous vehicles

Kentucky lawmakers are moving forward with a bill that will allow autonomous vehicles on the roads. Known as House Bill 7, it will require the autonomous semi-trucks to have a person in the vehicle in the first two years. In addition, the truck must meet or go beyond federal requirements for safety.

For Kentucky trucking companies, those that decide to send these vehicles on the road must provide various forms of information to law enforcement that gives them guidance on how to contact the company, to recognize that the autonomous vehicle is on the road and how it can be removed if necessary. It is not yet law as the bill was passed by the House and must go to the Senate, but it is a step toward these vehicles hitting the roads.

Challenges persist with autonomous vehicles

Autonomous trucks can be a worrisome prospect given how new the concept is and how the news reports failures, missteps and accidents with its implementation. There are positives for truck companies such as greater efficiency and the eventual removal of human error from the equation.

Lawmakers and safety advocates in individual states and at the federal level are looking closely at the prospect of more companies using autonomous vehicles. They are wary about it as it becomes more widespread. Indiana, New York and California are advancing legislation requiring a human driver to be in commercial autonomous vehicles. The safety aspect is one factor companies need to think about. Efficiency and cost is another.

Truck companies need to be prepared for the future

This technology is in its relative infancy and despite impressive advancements, it is still a question mark as to how safe it is. Truck companies need to understand the risks inherent with autonomous trucks and know what strategies can be put in effect to protect their business. Knowing what protections might be necessary with autonomous vehicles is essential and guidance from those experienced in trucking defense can be helpful as the use of these vehicles becomes part of the landscape.