You may have heard about the expectation that automated passenger vehicles may soon be seen on the roadways in Alabama. However, according to the American Trucking Association, there is similar technology for tractor trailers currently being tested by Auburn University in Alabama in conjunction with the Federal Highway Administration and others. At the Sapp Law Firm, we look forward to learning the results of the research, which will determine if the trucks will reduce traffic and lower fuel costs without raising the risk of truck accidents.
The technology behind the concept uses electronic communication between two commercial trucks, along with adaptive cruise control and a collision avoidance system, to link the systems so that the driver in the rear can follow at a distance of approximately 30 feet. When the two trucks are linked, the gas pedal and brakes will be the responsibility of the lead driver, while the second driver will be responsible for steering his or her own vehicle.
Some of the questions you may have about truck platooning are being investigated in the study. For example, researchers plan to identify what will happen if a driver in a passenger vehicle merges into the space between the two trucks. It is also important to determine how linking the vehicles will affect their ability to stop in response to a sudden traffic situation. Some state and federal traffic laws for truckers may also have to be rewritten, such as those involving following too closely.
While saving money on shipping costs may create savings for you as a consumer, your safety on the Alabama roadways should never be compromised. For more information on this topic, please visit our page on the responsibilities of truckers and the trucking industry to prevent collisions.