Anyone who gets nervous when they see a large commercial truck or a speeding car headed toward them down the interstate is likely going to be even more anxious if they discover that no one is behind the wheel. That scenario has gotten one step closer for Oklahomans.
Earlier this month, both houses of the Oklahoma state legislature passed bills that would allow fully autonomous vehicles (AVs) on public roads.
The only state on the I-40 corridor that still prohibits AVs
Lawmakers behind the legislation assert that 19 states already allow AVs on their public roads, and 22 others allow test vehicles. As one lawmaker noted. “Every other state along the I-40 corridor already offers this to AV users,” so this would bring Oklahoma in line with them.
Another lawmaker noted that the use of autonomous trucks is crucial to our supply chain in this country. He says, “We don’t have enough truck drivers as it is…These vehicles are safe, and this legislation will help our state take advantage of this technology as so many others are already doing.” He notes that “approximately 300,000 completely autonomous commercial deliveries…have already been made without incident.”
Who’s at fault in a crash with an autonomous car?
With autonomous passenger and commercial vehicles gradually becoming mainstream, lawmakers and regulators are faced with the challenge of making certain that they’re as safe as possible. There’s the added complexity of liability in a crash caused by an AV.
Does the driver bear some responsibility, is the manufacturer solely to blame or do both share in the fault? What about companies that are using autonomous trucks to get products and supplies across the country? These are issues that need to be resolved as victims seek compensation for their expenses and damages.