Electric Trucks and More: The Future of TruckingAt Silverman, McDonald & Friedman, we advocate for those injured in a truck crash caused by drowsy, careless, or distracted drivers. We work with personal injury clients in Seaford, Wilmington, Newark and all throughout the state. Please contact our firm to learn more about your legal rights.

On November 17, Elon Musk unveiled one of his biggest industry disruptors yet—the Tesla Semi Truck. With a million mile warranty, lower operating costs, a 500 mile drive time on a single charge, the ability to go to 60mph in 20 seconds with a full 80,000 pound load, the truck is also partially self-driving. Musk expects the trucks to go into production by the end of 2019 and, even with a high price tag, these semi-trucks are poised to change the face of the trucking industry.

The future of trucking safety

The Tesla truck is loaded with technologies designed to drastically cut down on incidents of catastrophic truck accidents. Common causes of accidents include driver fatigue, distraction, improper cargo loading, or maintenance issues. Tesla has addressed many of these issues with technology solutions:

  • Its electric drivetrain is designed to prevent jackknifing. Each wheel has an independent motor, and the truck can sense distribution of weight. If the truck takes a violent turn and the cargo becomes unbalanced, the truck can adjust or brake the motors accordingly and correct.
  • Because the truck can get to 60mph in just 20 seconds, other drivers will be less likely to take risks trying to pass slow-moving trucks on the highway or while going uphill.
  • This also means that truckers will more often be able to keep up with the normal flow of traffic—giving them more time and speed to get to their destination, avoiding having to drive drowsy to meet deadlines.
  • The regenerative braking system will keep the truck holding a steady speed on downhills, charging its batteries in the process.
  • If the driver suffers an emergency behind the wheel, the truck is equipped with safety technology that will keep the vehicle in its lane and come safely to a stop.

Although the Tesla Semi Truck is not 100% self-driving, it is partially autonomous. This feature, called Autopilot, is already available in Tesla automobiles Model S and Model 3. The driver’s hands must be on the wheel and eyes on the road while using Autopilot, but when the feature is enabled, the vehicle will steer, accelerate, and brake for other vehicles.

Steve Cox, president and COO of Steam Logistics, believes the automation of all vehicles, not just tractor trailers, is coming. “I think the automation of all vehicles will save 50,000 lives a year…Will it happen in our lifetimes? It just might.”

Truck safety is a hot issue right now. Accidents with semi-trucks are serious and you need serious representation to help work through the chain of who should be held accountable.

Silverman, McDonald & Friedman is an established, successful personal injury law firm with offices throughout Delaware. We employ a team of reputable truck accident lawyers in Wilmington, Newark and Seaford who passionately fight for justice. Let us arrange a free consultation to discuss your case. You can reach us by calling 302-888-2900 or filling out our contact form.

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