Semi-trucking technological development has been focused on autonomous trucking for the past several months. Not only are self-driving cars becoming more accessible to public and private buyers, city and state policies are becoming more open to autonomous use. But entirely driverless transportation can be dangerous. Too many different parts of the transportation process need experienced drivers who can adapt to different situations and verbal descriptions. In order to get the right combination of efficiency and manual safety, semi-autonomous routes may be the best strategy.
Where do self-driving trucks work best?
Autonomous trucks do well on the open road. Cross-country routes and long drives involve hours of focused driving, but these long periods of relative inactivity are dangerous for drivers. They increase the risk of highway hypnosis and high-speed traffic accidents. Driving fatigue gets worse on longer drives with few changes and distractions. But computers maintain a consistent focus on potentially changing variables and are as responsive in the fiftieth hours as they are in the first.
Where do trained drivers need to step in?
However, self-driving trucks aren’t yet capable of safely handling last-mile driving or loading and unloading tasks. The beginning and end of each journey, as well as more extensive inspections in tightly regulated states, will require human drivers for years to come.
The best mix of both of these components is semi-autonomous drives and caravans. Drivers can be at the ready to transition to manual driving, especially at scheduled intervals, but can let their attention wander during the majority of the route. Caravans can increase the truck to driver ratio so a driver is still on site in case they’re needed.
A combination strategy is the best way to limit liability and potential driving risks. They allow for both styles of transportation to work at their peak opportunities. If you want to see how self-driving trucks can change your insurance coverage and your driving policies, go to J.E.B. Insurance Services, LLC. We provide commercial truck insurance in the states of Florida, Georgia, Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Illinois, Iowa, and Nebraska.