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Remote control tech could remove drivers from trucks

West Virginia truck drivers may be interested to learn that a California company is working on technology that would allow trucks to be driven remotely. The technology includes a retrofit remote control kit, radars and cameras that would provide drivers who are sitting in a remote location the ability to operate a commercial vehicle.

According to the company's co-founder, the software and the remote control kit would allow existing commercial trucks to become autonomous. Unlike other companies that have the same goals, however, the technology does not require the driver to actually be in the cab. The remote operator would still be required to steer the vehicle and control the throttle and transmission just like a regular truck. The technology has already been tested on a 140-mile trip where the truck was operated using the remote control kit for the majority of the time. There were reportedly plans to continue testing the technology with the hope of removing the driver from the cab by the end of 2017.

The company had several reasons for working towards removing drivers from truck cabs. By allowing the drivers to work remotely, it would be safer for them and they could spend more time with their families. Additionally, the job environment may be more inviting to future workers.

This technology will hopefully reduce the number of semi-truck accidents that are caused by fatigue. In many cases, companies encourage their drivers to stay on the road for stretches of time without taking the rest breaks that are required by law. Occupants of other vehicles that are injured in an accident caused by a drowsy truck driver may want to have legal assistance when trying to obtain compensation for their medical expenses and other losses.

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Stephen P. New, Attorney at Law
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