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Motorists traveling on Connecticut’s roadways may soon begin to notice automated commercial vehicles. Artificial intelligence is making it possible for self-driving vehicles to deliver cargo.

However, motorists may need to exercise a greater degree of caution around these vehicles to avoid accidents.

Autonomous vehicles and safety drivers

As reported by Forbes magazine, a company has launched the beginning phase of deploying automated vehicles with the capability of making cross-country freight runs. People will not be seeing truly driverless vehicles yet, though. Federal laws require a human driver in an automated vehicle, so the first wave of autonomous commercial freight trucks will have a trucker sitting in the cab.

The trucker acts as a safety driver and has the responsibility to take over control of the vehicle in an emergency. Motorists who feel better knowing that people are still behind the wheels of commercial trucks should not let their guard down on the roadways, though. Reports of safety drivers falling asleep or watching movies have made headlines because of the resulting injuries and fatalities.

If a distracted operator does not respond immediately to equipment malfunction, such as a sudden swerve or an increase in speed, a crash may be unavoidable. The trucking companies are responsible for the performance of their vehicles and their drivers.

Electronic data and evidence of negligence

Manufacturers equip automated vehicles with a wide range of onboard electronics, and this can prove invaluable in a crash. It can provide investigators with a complete picture of what happened to cause the accident, including:

       Location, date and timestamp data

       Video footage of the driver’s actions

       Video footage of the road and traffic around the truck

       Electronic records of the vehicle’s technological performance

This data may provide evidence of negligence and fault that a court needs to issue a verdict so that the victim of an autonomous truck accident can recover full compensation for injuries.