Slate’s Law Blog

Are You Ready for Self-Driving Trucks?

Now that a third of 2024 has gone by, trucks are perfectly capable of driving themselves, but should we let them? Machines can do a lot of things with minimal human supervision, but sooner or later, it becomes obvious that they lack human judgment. Chatbots can write things that look like news articles and legal briefs, but they do not know or care whether the events they are reporting or prior court decisions they are citing actually happened. They are making something that looks like the real thing, but since they do not have experiential memory, they have a difficult time telling apart what is real from what is not.  

Even your own car could probably get from point A to point B without incident, but you probably would not want it to. When your car sounds the same alarm because an overgrown shrub is near its front bumper as you are parked in your driveway that it makes when your neighbor’s cat has parked itself indignantly in your favorite parking space, you feel the same hesitation about letting it drive itself as you would about handing the keys to a newly licensed teen who cannot tell the difference between harmless fun and mortal danger. Like it or not, self-driving trucks are coming soon to some of the flatter stretches of road in New Mexico. If you have been injured in an accident involving an autonomous vehicle, contact a Santa Fe motor vehicle accident lawyer.

Can This Possibly End Better Than the Self-Driving Taxi Experiment?

Aurora, a Pennsylvania-based autonomous vehicle company, is currently running self-driving trucks on test tracks in preparation for the trucks beginning intrastate routes in Texas this summer. The trucks are programmed to drive at a steady speed of 65 miles per hour, except where road conditions or exit ramp speed limits require them to slow down. Thus far, the trucks are at least as good at avoiding hazards as human drivers are. The trucks’ sensors can perceive a pedestrian-like obstacle on a dark road at a greater distance than a truck driver with normal vision can see a pedestrian in the truck’s headlights.

Other companies have run self-driving truck routes in traffic, and there have been a few collisions. These usually involved cars rear-ending the self-driving truck. In other words, the accidents were due to human error.

What to Do if You Get Injured by a Self-Driving Truck

Since self-driving trucks do not get drunk, frustrated, or drowsy, they are probably less likely to cause accidents than human truck drivers. Despite this, if you get injured in a collision with a self-driving truck, the autonomous truck company could be partially responsible for the accident.  In this case, you have the right to file a claim with the autonomous truck company’s commercial liability insurance.

Contact Slate Stern About Truck Accident Lawsuits

Slate Stern is a personal injury lawyer who represents plaintiffs injured in truck accidents.  Contact Slate Stern in Santa Fe, New Mexico, or call (505)814-1517 to discuss your case.


Tractor-trailers with no one aboard? The future is near for self-driving trucks on US roads (

Photo by Zetong Li on Unsplash