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Otto brings self-driving trucks one step closer to reality

Otto, a little-known outfit working to bring self-driven trucks to market, notched a significant accomplishment ? its experimental truck successfully traveled 120 highway miles without a human operator in the cab. Self-driven car headlines have been dominated by the likes of Google, Uber and Tesla. However, none of those companies have been able to field a car that is permitted to operate without a human driver. This post will go over the trucks development and what it may mean to you.

What made this truck's journey unique, and terrifying, is that it made the entire drive with no human in the cab. Now, the truck only stayed on the highway, and once it approached a city, a human took over. But the truck managed to navigate and avoid accidents on a highway for 120 miles.

These stories are important because they highlight an area in which the law and technology are in contention. The law assigns liability based on the assumption that humans interact with one another. But once society begins injecting artificial intelligence and autonomous machines, who bears responsibility for their actions? In a perfect world, self-driven vehicles would never get into collisions. But the world isn't perfect, and technology will need time to develop the algorithms necessary to navigate it.

These are the questions the law is trying to answer. Is the owner of the vehicle liable, the manufacturer of the truck, or the software? To date, regulations universally require a human driver to take control should the program fail but one-day humans will be absent, so what happens then?

If you were injured by a self-driven vehicle in a collision (it could happen, take a look at Uber in Pittsburgh, Google in California, or Tesla), then you may want to speak with a lawyer. The more ubiquitous these vehicles become, the more likely an accident is going to occur. An attorney can help you determine how best to pursue compensation to maximize your chance to receive fair compensation.

Source: USA Today, "Self-driving truck makes first trip ? a 120-mile beer run," Marco della Cava, October 26, 2016

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Anaheim, CA 92807

Phone: 714-464-6903
Toll Free: 866-543-7598
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