It’s not uncommon to see many large commercial trucks driving down Indiana’s many roads. However, some companies are pushing to have their trucks driven with the help of technology instead of actual human drivers. Considering that, the passing of a new ruling in West Virginia is leaving drivers everywhere feeling a little nervous.
What is the Fully Autonomous Vehicles Act?
The Fully Autonomous Vehicles Act is a law that allows the use of completely autonomous vehicles on roadways. While this might sound like something out of a science fiction movie, West Virginia enacted this law in June 2022. The main purpose is to potentially reduce or eliminate mistakes that human drivers make. Autonomous vehicles can travel at a set speed without traveling too slow or fast. These systems also don’t fall victims to distractions as human drivers would.
An understandable backlash
While autonomous vehicles can help prevent trucking accidents, not everyone is on board with the Fully Autonomous Vehicles Act. Some who oppose this new ruling feel that public roads shouldn’t be places for companies to test autonomous vehicles. Making matters worse, many people remember seeing recent headlines about autonomous vehicles crashing into objects or other automobiles.
When recently asked about West Virginia’s decision to pass this new act, the President of the Trucking Safety Coalition made sure her feelings were clear. She called it “incredibly sound and unsafe” to let autonomous vehicles on any road without performance standards. She also called into question the lack of available testing data about these vehicles.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported a 13% rise in fatalities involving large trucks during 2021. Only time will tell if autonomous vehicles reduce trucking accidents.