Are Self-Driving Vehicles the Future of the Construction Industry?
We have all heard about the new and exciting technological advancements in the driverless car industry. Whether or not we can believe the amazing technology, self-driving vehicles have already been approved by several state legislatures and are projected to be available to the public by as early as 2020. As many of us already know, these driverless vehicles will span well beyond just personal vehicles to include: trains, buses, and even semi-trailer trucks.
As groundbreaking technology typically goes, it is only a matter of time before this impressive innovation begins to influence all professional industries including the construction industry. Technology experts project that autonomous heavy machinery will be put into practice in approximately another decade. However, as residents in the State of Florida, we don’t have to wait that long to see self-driving trucks operated as a safeguard at construction worksites.
The Problem with Temporary Work Zone Accidents
Our Orlando construction attorneys know that safety is of the utmost importance when workers are present on temporary, roadside construction zones. For efficiency and safety reasons, most roadside construction zones operate in the late evening to early morning shifts when motorists less frequent the road. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, in 2014, there were 669 fatalities from crashes in work zones.
Pioneers of An Emerging Industry
Pennsylvania company, Royal Truck & Equipment, the largest manufacturer of Truck Mounted Attenuator (TMA) Trucks, has recently developed the first driverless truck to be utilized in temporary construction zones. The trucks are packaged with special crash barriers called attenuators that by design assist with protecting both the onsite workers and the motorists.
How Does It Operate?
The technology behind this groundbreaking piece of construction equipment is as impressive as the concept itself. Utilizing GPS Waypoint navigation, remote control operation or through a leader/follower programming, the TMA Truck can protect vulnerable workers onsite and motorists that are trying to navigate through a temporary construction work zone. Unlike its predecessors, these barriers do not need a vulnerable driver in the cab to control it and can be operated autonomously.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.