Recently a company named Otto which consist of ex-Google employees, announced their initiative to develop autonomous vehicles. While self-driving cars are surprisingly nothing new, Otto has promised to bring the technology where it is desperately needed- the trucking industry. While most human drivers require rest, an autonomous driver would not. It would be an entity that would be fully aware of the road conditions at all times. It would be a platform that would allow the shipment of goods in this country to arrive not only faster than a human counterpart, but also cheaper.
Aside from this technology potentially putting millions of human truck drivers out of work, there is also the subject of how other drivers will feel about driving alongside a moving vehicle that drives itself. Throw in the fact that a fully-loaded 18 wheeler can weigh anywhere up to 80,000 lbs, it certainly brings up a legitimate concern. The people at Otto are fully confident about the safety of their platform will be to other drivers but it is still understandable that seeing such a thing would make them uneasy.
It is more than obvious that autonomous vehicles are going to become a lot more popular in the coming years. Having said that, how will this effect auto insurance rates? What exactly will be the protocol if someone gets into an accident with a self-driving vehicle? Who will be held accountable if an autonomous vehicle is involved in a car accident that ends with a fatality?
Needless-to-say, in 2016 there are far more questions than answers. For now, we can only watch and wait.
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