Motor Vehicle Accidents Lawyers
While the long-held dream of everyone flitting about in flying cars ala “The Jetsons” is still a long way off, the once unheard-of idea of self-driving cars is now a reality. More and more Americans are purchasing cars that have automated driving capabilities.
In recent years, the safety of self-driving cars is being increasingly scrutinized. It was originally believed that once the tech had been worked out, there were virtually no circumstances under which these vehicles would – or even could – crash. That their systems would be so advanced that the idea of a collision caused by a self-driving car would be unthinkable. However, self-driving cars are made by humans and humans are fallible. As a result, it turns out that these cars can – and do – crash.
As a result, it is right and proper that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has recently contemplated and begun seeking feedback concerning proposed rulemaking related to automated driving systems on buses and large commercial trucks. If emerging self-driving technology for buses and large commercial vehicles isn’t contemplated with great consideration, lives will unquestionably be lost as a result of this failure.
The FMCSA’s Approach
As an experienced truck accident lawyer – including those who practice at Schehr Law – can confirm, the laws and regulations concerning trucking safety are always evolving. This is also true – though generally to a less significant extent – of busing regulations. In this instance, the FMCSA is looking to expand upon regulations handed down in 2019 concerning automated driving technology for large commercial trucks and buses.
When the FMCSA contemplates such changes, it invites comments from anyone who cares to “weigh in” on the proposed changes. Industry insiders, academics, activists, etc. tend to be the most vocal during these comment periods. However, all members of the public are welcome to submit comments as well.
Some of the questions being contemplated by the FMCSA in regard to this broader issue concern whether the FMCSA should be notified before commercial trucks and buses owned by any particular company can employ self-driving technology in interstate commerce capacities, data collection concerns, qualifications of “assistant” operators of self-driving tech, and limitations on the working conditions of remote assistants.
The Big Picture
The question of whether self-driving large commercial trucks and buses are on the way seems to be a relatively settled issue. They are on the way. The questions that the FMCSA is posing now concern when self-driving tech may be utilized, how to keep travelers as safe as possible as this tech comes online, how should remote assistants of such tech be regulated, etc.
Progress generally can’t be slowed for very long. Yet, it is important that the FMCSA slows the implementation of progressive technology to the extent that it can be reasonably sure of the safety of all who travel within and near self-driving vehicles that are massive in size, significant in weight, and have the potential to cause a great deal of damage.
Contact a truck accident lawyer near you for help!