If the idea of sharing the road with a self-driving car seems far-fetched, just imagine sharing the road with a self-driving 18-wheel semi. Autonomous rigs may be the next big thing in finding solutions to creating a safer and more efficient transportation system.
Anthony Levandowski who was one of the original developers and engineers for Google's self-driving technology, before leaving and founding Otto, is looking to build trucks equipped with software, sensors, lasers, and cameras, so they eventually will be able to travel more than 220,000 miles on U.S highways. During the trip, individuals will be able to nap or do other business in the back. The concept is only meant to work on highways and to leave navigating city streets to the drivers. "Our goal is to make trucks drive as humanly as possible, but with the reliability of machines," Levandowski told the Detroit Free Press.
Levandowski has equipped three big-rig cabs with the self-driving technology. These semis have been being tested on public highways in Nevada. Otto is searching for 1,000 truck drivers to volunteer to have the self-driving kits equipped to their vehicles.
Despite the advances made in the world of self-driving cars, self-driving trucks are still decades away, Program Manager for Mobility at the University of California Steven Shladover predicts. Shladover believes technology is still a ways away from being reliable enough to convince the government that these vehicles can be trusted.
Sharing The Road With Semi-Trucks:
DriverSolutions gave the following tips on navigating the road with large vehicles:
- Avoid Blind Spots: Make sure the driver can see you in his or her mirrors. A good rule of thumb is that if you can't see their side view mirrors, they can't see you.
- Pass Trucks with Caution: Pass on the left side for maximum visibility, and maintain a consistent speed.
- Don't Linger Near the Truck: Give trucks plenty of space to avoid potential collisions.
- Don't Cut Trucks Off: Be sure to leave plenty of buffer room when you pull in front of a truck. Large trucks simply can't stop as quickly as cars.
There are around 400,000 accidents involving semi-trucks annually in the United States. If you or somebody you know has been involved in an accident with a semi-truck, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. Collisions with large vehicles of any kind may result in severe and irreversible damage, leaving victims in need of medical attention and a way to pay to their bills. Our attorneys will fight to get you the help and answers you need. Call us today, at 844.4MI.FIRM.