blog home Truck Accidents Kodiak To Operate Driverless Trucks Between Houston & Dallas

Kodiak To Operate Driverless Trucks Between Houston & Dallas

By Dallas Personal Injury Attorney on February 20, 2024

Kodiak Robotics, Inc. (Kodiak) announced that it is planning to open its first driverless truck delivery route between Houston and Dallas by the end of 2024. Kodiak released its driverless-ready semi-truck earlier this year. The average weight of a semi-truck plus trailer is 35,000 pounds. This can increase to 80,000 pounds (40 tons) when pulling a full load.

Kodiak and other robotruck companies like Aurora Innovation and TuSimple have been piloting self-driving trucks in Texas since the late 2010s. As tests are still being conducted, each Kodiak truck travels with a safety driver (a licensed trucker) to take over in an emergency.

While Kodiak is planning to launch its 18-wheelers later this year, its website promotes the versatility of its products, which can be installed on any motor vehicle. If the technology becomes popular, you may see anything from box trucks to pickup trucks driving the streets without a human aboard.

Driverless Trucking: Listed Advantages

Companies promoting autonomous freight delivery suggest that compared to human drivers, driverless trucks:

  • Are safer, more efficient, and dependable
  • Always follow the speed limit
  • Are not susceptible to road rage
  • Are able to work around the clock
  • Help reduce costs and insurance
  • Are more fuel-efficient

Driverless Truck Safety: What Could Go Wrong?

Does the thought of a 40-ton truck with no driver going 60 mph on the I-45 make you feel uneasy? If so, you’re not alone—anybody who values safety would feel this way. Since Kodiak is still in the testing phase, there is not enough statistical information to clearly show the impacts driverless trucks could have on our roads. However, isolated news reports of robotrucks or other autonomous vehicles provide an idea of what could go wrong.

Here are a few real-life examples of glitches that have occurred:

  • A TuSimple robotruck took a sharp left turn across westbound traffic on I-10 and struck a concrete barrier. It was following a computer-generated command that was several minutes old, and the safety driver was unable to counter steer the maneuver.
  • Another driverless truck in testing moved off the I-45 to Dallas in response to a human driver coming into its lane. The truck and safety driver skidded a dozen yards off-road before hitting a crash barrier.
  • A group of about ten Cruise driverless taxis malfunctioned on San Francisco streets during a music festival, creating traffic delays. When Cruise was contacted, they said the concert had caused unforeseen “wireless connectivity issues.”
  • In other instances, driverless vehicles being piloted in San Francisco have obstructed an emergency vehicle at an intersection, blocked the road to an active fire, and driven into freshly poured concrete.

Who Is Liable in a Driverless Truck Accident?

In an ordinary vehicle crash, the driver is assigned fault. Even in an accident case involving a Tesla, which has a “self-driving” mode, the driver is still required to monitor the car’s progress and is held responsible for any error. But what if there is no one behind the wheel? If you are in an accident with a driverless truck or vehicle, the company that operates it can be held liable. If an 18-wheel robotruck from Kodiak caused the collision, then Kodiak would be liable for your injuries.

Have You Suffered Catastrophic Injuries?

In this fast-paced world, one thing remains constant—The Lenahan Law Firm is here for you. Our Dallas truck accident lawyers will determine who is at fault for your injuries and fight for maximum compensation on your behalf.

If you have been involved in any type of road accident, you have suffered enough. It’s time you had the support of an attorney who will fight for the compensation and justice you deserve.

Reach out to us at (214) 295-1008 today for a free consultation today.

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