A crash involving a self-driving truck has people questioning whether the public is ready for autonomous vehicles to be on the roads. The accident that occurred on Interstate 45 in Texas did not result in serious injuries.
However, it exposed flaws in the reporting system.
Details of the accident
A self-driving semi-truck was traveling in the far right lane of northbound I-45 toward Dallas when another semi-truck moved into the lane and forced the truck off the road. The at-fault vehicle did not stop after causing the accident which resulted in moderate injuries to the human safety operator in the autonomous vehicle.
Issues exposed by the crash
The Texas Department of Transportation crash report contains no checkboxes to indicate whether vehicles in a crash are operating with full or partial automation. As a result, law enforcement may not record this information on crash reports.
The officer who responded to the hit and run accident said that he did not know the truck that the hit and run driver struck was operating in autonomous mode. Records of other crashes involving self-driving trucks reveal that law enforcement frequently fails to record when vehicles are operating in self-driving mode.
How these issues impact the public
With law enforcement seemingly unequipped to deal with self-driving trucks, it could be challenging for motorists involved in accidents with the vehicles to prove their cases, particularly once the trucks regularly begin operating without human drivers.
With no human to interview, police reports may not accurately reflect the actions of self-driving vehicles. Texas law may need to adapt to accommodate this new technology on its roadways.