If there is one thing that is obvious to anyone who drives on a highway, it’s that trucks are dangerous vehicles. They are large, take up a lot of space and create many blind spots for their drivers. The drivers themselves are often worked to exhaustion, which increases the risk of drowsiness and falling asleep behind the wheel.
Truck crashes happen often, but with the rise of the autonomous trucks that are being produced now, those crashes could eventually be a thing of the past.
Why would an autonomous truck be so helpful on the roads? The idea of an autonomous truck is the same as the idea of an autonomous car. The system would look for hazards and threats in the roadway, alerting the driver or taking evasive action on its own. The vehicle would have safety features that would help prevent collisions by identifying people or vehicles in areas where drivers can’t see. Some vehicles would be able to stop or slow down on their own when approaching other traffic.
Installing advanced driving assistance systems, or ADAS, in trucks is something that is still being researched and tested. The goal is for these systems of radar, cameras, LiDAR, GPS and mapping data and other technology to eventually drive vehicles with or without a driver inside; until then, the goal is to improve safety and reduce the number of collisions that occur.
Many vehicles now have ADAS in 2020. These vehicles aren’t autonomous at a high level, though. They still require a driver and someone to pay attention to the road. Drivers inside these vehicles can’t take for granted that the vehicle will do everything because they still need to maintain close attention and take control when the system can’t operate on its own.
This is still good news for anyone who has been involved in a crash in the past. Safer vehicles help reduce collisions. Still, crashes are possible, so if you are hit by someone with an autonomous truck, they may still be to blame.