ATRI report tackles autonomous vehicles in trucking

Report sees promise in technology, but also cites roadblocks

Posted November 17, 2016

The potential impacts of autonomous vehicle technology on the trucking industry were identified in a recent report by the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI). Significant safety and productivity benefits may result from the adoption of the technology, ATRI reports.

The topic was identified earlier this year by ATRI’s Research Advisory Committee as its top research priority. ATRI’s analysis links its annual industry survey (to identify the top ten trucking industry concerns) to the potential impacts of autonomous vehicles. The top ten hot topics for trucking range from hours of service to the driver shortage to driver health and wellness.

In regard to these topics being tied to autonomous vehicles, ATRI used the example of hours-of-service regulations and the Elog mandate. Use of the autonomous vehicle technology may allow commercial drivers to improve safety and productivity.

ATRI cautions that use of autonomous vehicles will require federal leadership and significant input from stakeholders. Deployment of autonomous trucks may be hindered by poor infrastructure, uncertainties related to tort law, and the possible need for federal preemption.

View the ATRI report in its entirety.

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