Like self-driving cars, self-driving trucks are fast moving towards the mainstream. The idea of having large trucks operating under self-driving software may seem scary, but it is going to happen.
It may happen sooner if the government steps in to help put an infrastructure in place, but is that a good idea? You may wonder how government assistance could hurt or help the development of this technology and how that will impact safety.
Forbes explains the biggest issue with government involvement in getting autonomous trucks on the road is more political than anything. It will help to create a loss of driving jobs while also boosting warehouse jobs. It also will likely contribute to more accidents as these trucks and other drivers learn to coexist on the roadways. It will also likely increase consumer costs at least in the short term on goods and taxes.
Types of investments
There are some investments the government could make that will improve safety. For example, special parking lots near exits can help to allow for quick changing of drivers to keep them fresh. The government could also invest in telecommunications to help ensure trucks have clear communication and access to the cellular signals they need to operate properly.
Government is not likely to make a huge investment in autonomous trucks until there is solid proof that they are safe. The risk of accidents is too high for many politicians to get behind. Since it is a new technology, there needs to be more work to show that these trucks are a good thing for society that people can get behind instead of fear.