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The Liability Problem With Self Driving Semi Trucks

Vehicle automation is one of the most exciting technologies of our time. Self driving semi trucks are expected to take the market by storm. Researchers suggest that 1/3 of new semi trucks will be completely automated by the year 2025.

These new trucks, however, come with their own unique system of challenges. Critics of the new technology have helped identify a controversial problem. The issue only becomes more critical as we move closer towards an automated industry.

The Problem

The incredible capabilities of self driving technology is unfortunately shrouded in a new problem. One of the biggest concerns facing the new industry is the nature of liability.

Simply put, if a self driving truck is involved in an automobile accident there needs to be a clear process to follow to determine who is at fault. Drivers, semi truck owners, and semi manufacturers are now all three at risk with the advent of self driving trucks.

A Growing Controversy

The controversy stems from this new legal gray area. Without proper legislation, the outcome of future criminal cases involving self driving trucks are likely to be inconsistent. Parties in favor of early solutions have already initiated efforts to put laws into place.

For example, a bill submitted to Congress in 2017 was initiated to help better define the legal landscape for self driving cars. The new legislation suggests a myriad of guidelines to help monitor and moderate the new industry. The bill has not yet passed through Congress, but it stands as an important and necessary initiative.

Moving Forward

The most highly anticipated changes are in the realm of insurance. The arrival of self driving trucks brings a new variety of concerns and challenges. It will be necessary for manufacturers and owners alike to seek specific policies catered towards self driving vehicles.


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