There’s no question about it– autonomous trucks are coming. There has been incredible progress as these incredible vehicles are developed further. And funding has been made available to pave the way for this new future of transport. But will roadways be ready? What needs to be done to improve the existing infrastructure? How do we need to prepare for these self-driving vehicles?
Still Have a Ways to Go
Most people thought that self-driving cars would be all over the roads by the end of last year. Unfortunately, that’s not exactly the case. We’re not exactly ready to fully embrace automated vehicles quite yet. There’s still some progress to be made before self-driving cars will be as commonplace as the traditional variety. AI technology still has some kinks to work out.
Amendments to Highway Code
Amendments to the highway code are necessary to make highways safe for automated trucks and cars. New sections of code are required so that drivers remain aware, even when inside a self-driving vehicle. Drivers would need to take control at a moment’s notice if something were to go wrong. When a new code is written, it will include language making drivers responsible for keeping all automated trucks and cars in “roadworthy condition”. Self-driving vehicles must have regular tests and inspections to ensure their safety, maybe even more than traditional vehicles.
Complex Road Networks
Currently, most road networks are too complex for autonomous vehicles. Most experts suggest separate roadways for self-driving cars or only keeping some roadways for manual vehicles. This plan seems the safest and most practical way forward as advancements continue to be made. However, it would require massive amounts of new construction for underpasses and bridges to separate new roadways for self-driving cars only.
As technology advances and self-driving vehicles become a necessary part of logistics, the infrastructure of our roadways will inevitably evolve. We’ll keep you updated on the progress.