Drivers Can’t Be on Standby for Self-Driving Semi-Trucks

Self-driving semi-trucks are integrating themselves into experimental routes and smaller geographic regions. Autonomous vehicles of a smaller size are even finding their place in warehouses and docks. But most people agree that self-driving cars aren’t ready to take on all of the road systems by themselves. The systems haven’t finished learning, and they’re too easy to fool.

Why can’t self-driving cars monitor themselves?

Self-driving AI has a few bugs left to work out: their scanners can’t always differentiate between different obstructions or even objects on the side of the road. A tree on a windy day might look too much like a pedestrian about to cross the street or, even worse, vice versa. Changes that haven’t been updated in their GPS, like road closures and fender benders a few cars ahead, can also confound them on occasion.

Self-driving cars also face a unique problem: they aren’t completely surrounded by self-driving cars. Ideally, the vehicles would all communicate with each other in a constant flow of efficiency-driving communication. But autonomous vehicles are still the exception instead of the norm, and people and computers are terrible at talking to each other. We can’t understand all of the factors that go into their decisions, and they can’t understand us.

Why can’t people monitor self-driving cars?

That communication barrier stops easy trade-offs and alerts. While cars may be programmed to create different alert messages when a trigger makes it think a human should take over, that doesn’t mean people can zero in on the exact cause for concern and respond quickly.

Quick response times are an even bigger reason why people can’t be the primary safety backup. Autonomous cars are being created because humans are terrible at distracted driving. It takes only eight to twenty minutes of calm, predictable driving for drivers to fall into a surface-level highway hypnosis. It’s even worse when, instead of taking an active driving role, humans are just passively watching. Response times are lowered, attention to detail is gone, and drivers will still be caught up in whatever task was occupying their interest.

Self-driving cars in the halfway stage of readiness are dangerous when both the AI driver and the backup human driver aren’t always ready to respond to any possible incident. Even if your company is focusing on retaining manually driven semi-trucks for the next several years, safe driving and continual attention to the road is the only way to keep the company and all drivers in the area safe. Go to J.E.B. Insurance Services, LLC. to see what a history of safe driving can do for your insurance rates. We provide commercial truck insurance in the states of Florida, Georgia, Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Illinois, Iowa, and Nebraska.

David Ott

David Ott