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Indiana lawmakers aim to regulate self-driving semi trucks

HENDERSON, Ky. (WEHT) – Self-driving passenger vehicles may be the wave of the future, but when it comes to autonomous semi trucks, Indiana lawmakers are pumping the brakes. Legislation introduced by southern Indiana Representative Cindy Ledbetter aims to regulate self-driving semi’s.

“This bill just assures that there is a CDL-licensed driver in the semi tractor trailer to provide safety in the event of technological failures,” says Ledbetter.

Indiana House Bill 1022, authored by state representative Ledbetter of Newburgh, targets automated semi trucks. Ledbetter says there is not enough regulation in place to prevent potential harm.

“There have been recent instances in the news where automated vehicles are unable to pull over for emergency vehicles,” says Ledbetter, “or they have caused accidents as a result of technological failure and not being able to function properly.”

With the bill’s hearing in the books, House Bill 1022 bill is officially dead for this legislative session. Ledbetter plans on keeping the discussion going with a potential revival in 2025. Still, some drivers are concerned. Evansville resident Terry Murray has been a truck driver for 25 years. He is worried about the self-driving prospects.

“You just never know what could happen,” says Murray, “and 80,000 pounds is a destructive force that you don’t want to hit any small car.”

Other concerns brought forth include fears over technology not responding to other vehicles, a concern shared by Murray.

“Sometimes it takes the length of a football field, or more, for us to get stopped, and you’ve got cars that will just pull right out in front of you and you’ve got to be right on your toes,” says Murray. “And that automated system, I know it’s got the sensors, but you cannot control what another driver is going to do.”

The bill would have mandated a driver be in the semi truck at all times. But some still point out the bill’s flaws.

“You’ve got a sleeper bunk and there’s a driver in there, but let’s say he’s asleep,” explains Murray, “well he’s not going to be aware of what’s going on at every given moment.”

State Representative Ledbetter’s team says they wanted to start the conversation this year and hope to work with the tech industry on future legislation.

This article was originally published by a www.tristatehomepage.com . Read the Original article here. .

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