Why Trucking Needs a Voice in Autonomous Legislation
With driverless vehicles finding their way into headlines and onto highways more often than ever before, lawmakers have already taken steps to set things in place for this exciting new technology.
Unfortunately, initial legislation regarding autonomous vehicles had one curious aspect – it focused on cars rather than commercial trucks.
Depending on who is asked, driverless trucks are either a goldmine for carriers or the death of the freight industry as it is known now. However, as trucking officials pointed out, the legislation isn’t a matter of how people perceive driverless trucks. The bigger picture is that the trucking industry could be severely damaged if this technology passes it by.
There’s no fear about carriers shying away from driverless trucks, especially once the technology is refined. The main concern is that being left out of the legislative discussion will put trucking at a major disadvantage in the future.
With legislation geared more toward cars, the freight industry may find itself operating within a framework not suited for trucks. The new technologies that will be developed regarding infrastructure should be based on the needs of all autonomous vehicles, and this includes commercial trucks.
The safety standards developed for autonomous vehicles must also be looked at from a broad perspective. If only cars are considered when these laws are written, trucking will likely run into plenty of problems functioning efficiently in such a situation.
All of this would mean driverless trucks would be costlier and less efficient. Thankfully, legislators have already heard the concerns from drivers over this issue. Measures will be taken to include the trucking industry in this important discussion going forward.
Even those who believe that commercial trucks are more dangerous than cars and thus the driverless versions of each should be subject to different legislation, the risks of leaving one group out of the discussion are severe in the long-term.
Trucking needs to make sure that major changes to the transportation industry as a whole doesn’t inconvenience their sector. There are already enough concerns about driverless trucks as it is – making it harder for freight companies to use them won’t help matters.