May 11, 2018

Probably the biggest self-driving vehicle promotional event to happen yet, occurred when Uber Technologies Inc. and Anheuser-Bush InBev NV loaded up a semi-truck full of beer and drove it autonomously south down Interstate 25 in to a delivery destination. For safe measure, the event and sponsors had a police cruiser following the 18-wheeler for more than 180 miles in mid-October.1

That publicity stunt apparently appears to be paying off, because Ohio’s Governor John Kasich recently announced he is planning to infuse some of his state’s money into the self-driving industry.

New Study to Look at Safety and Practicality of Self-Driving Trucks

Can Self-Driving Trucks Be Trusted? | Denver Truck Accident Attorney

Can Self-Driving Trucks Be Trusted? | Denver Truck Accident Attorney

The following details on Gov. Kasich’s planned investment in self-driving trucks were collected from recent media reports:2

  • Gov. Kasich’s bold study includes a $15 million investment that will turn 35 miles of a state highway into a proving ground for self-driving trucks.
  • Gov. Kasich’s move is highly controversial as it will use taxpayer money to basically research new technology that will compete for one of the state’s most valued jobs.
  • Ohio ranks as the nation’s second highest concentration of truck drivers.
  • “You can’t stop progress,” Gov. Kasich told reporters at a news conference. He went on to call out the possible safety advantages of future self-driving vehicles.
  • The proving ground is a stretch along Route 33 located near Columbus, which is thought to be a strategic logistical hub that’s only a day’s drive from 60% of the U.S. states.
  • Currently, no Ohio businesses manufacture autonomous vehicles.
  • Uber, however, has tested out the proving ground using its self-driving truck team.

“We wanted to show that the basic building blocks of the technology are here; we have the capability of doing that on a highway,” said Lior Ron, the president and co-founder of Uber’s Otto unit. “We are still in the development stages, iterating on the hardware and software.”

Will Self-Driving Trucks Eventually Kill Someone?

The odds are good, if society gets onboard with autonomous technology and we begin to use it to transport our goods, that eventually someone will become a casualty of self-driving vehicles – it’s just mathematically inevitable. But, when? That’s the big question.

The following statistics and information about self-driving vehicle technology comes from recently published news reports:2

  • On average, it takes one hundred miles driven before someone dies at the hands of a human driver.
  • Coincidentally, that’s how many miles Tela’s semi-autonomous car loaded with their “autopilot” feature has logged just in this year alone.
  • It is estimated that if Tesla’s mass-marketed, semi-autonomous Model 3 car rolls out in 2017, then the number of miles driving by that technology will rapidly reach into the billions in no time.
  • Mercedes new E-class will deploy similar technology in its vehicles.
  • Google’s fully autonomous cars have already logged more than 1.6 million miles.

Contact a Denver Truck Accident Attorney at the Warshauer-McLaughlin Law Group, P.C.

Have you or a loved one been injured in a truck accident or by a self-driving truck? If so, the Denver Truck Accident Lawyers at the Warshauer-McLaughlin Law Group, P.C. are ready to take up the challenge to litigate any truck-related accident victim’s case and bring them the justice they deserve. We believe victims have the right to aggressive advocates of their rights in the court of law, and to go after the compensation owed to them by negligent parties. The legal team of Warshauer-McLaughlin Law Group has more than 35 years of combined experience and knowledge representing our clients.

We invite you to come to our Denver offices and learn how we can best serve you and what legal options are available to you. To set up a free, no-cost initial consultation, call us at (720) 420-9800 or email us using the form on this page.

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1“Uber Self-Driving Truck Packed with Budweiser Makes First Delivery in Colorado” published in Bloomberg Technology, October 2016.

2“Statistically, self-driving cars are about to kill someone. What happens next?” published in The Guardian, June 2016.

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