In the near future, you could be driving between Dallas and Houston when you notice a trucker on the highway. Well, not actually a trucker, because no one is behind the wheel. That’s right – no human driver!
California-based Kodiak Robotics has opened an office in Dallas with the goal of establishing a self-driving truck route between the city and Houston. Initially, a “safety driver” will monitor the 18-wheelers and guide them under some circumstances. Eventually, though, the company hopes to have fully self-driving trucks delivering goods throughout the state.
“We have believed for a while that Texas is a very attractive place for the product we’re building,” said Alden Woodrow, co-founder, and CEO of Ike, one of several other companies interested in robotic trucking in Texas.
What Makes Texas So Attractive for Self-Driving Trucks?
Several factors put Texas high on the list of states where automated trucks may soon be sharing the road with human drivers. Among them:
- Texas gets little snow, which can cause problems for automated vehicle sensor technology.
- The movement of freight through, from, within and into Texas will continue to expand.
- There are 3,200 miles of open highway, where self-driving trucks can be easily tested and utilized.
- The state is working on a system to alert robotic vehicles about unusual road conditions, such as roadwork.
- The state is collaborating with New Mexico, Arizona and California on standardized regulations to make hauling freight simpler for all truckers.
- In 2017, the state legalized driverless vehicles and platooning trucks (where automated vehicles follow a truck with a driver) on state highways. Developers do not need special permits for testing – they are not even required to tell the state that they are conducting tests.
You Are David, the Truckers Are Goliath – You Need Help
The dangers of being involved in an accident with a fully-loaded 80,000-pound 18-wheeler, regardless of whether it is driven by a human or is automated, are obvious – your 4,000-pound passenger car is outmatched and its occupants are in serious danger. Your injuries could be severe, possibly even permanent. You may be out of work, unable to support your family or pay your bills. An insurance company, interested only in paying you as little as possible, will make a financial settlement offer that falls far short of meeting your needs.
You need truck accident attorney Jeff Weinstein, of Weinstein Law, based in Athens, handling your case. A former prosecutor, Weinstein has been representing truck accident victims in Henderson County for 20 years. He can rely on his experience and expertise to take on the trucking companies, their lawyers and their insurance companies while you focus on the most important issue – your recovery. Because attorney Weinstein works on a contingency fee basis, you pay him nothing unless he wins your case.
Contact him for a free case consultation today.