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Remote control tech could let truck drivers drive from home

Technology companies are working hard to make autonomous trucking viable. If successful, trucks traveling the highways of Illinois might be operated by truckers based at home or in an operations center. The co-founder of one such company, Starsky Robotics hopes to improve working conditions for truckers and allow them to enjoy more time at home.

Starsky Robotics has been developing its remote control system to overcome the challenges faced by autonomous vehicles when navigating the final mile to delivery a load. A remotely based driver could steer a truck into a terminal using data sent from cameras and sensors installed on the autonomous truck. The company's co-founder described it as a boring video game for operators.

The company makes kits to retrofit trucks with robotic control of the throttle, transmission and steering. So far, the company has run a successful test during a 140-mile trip. This test included a driver in the cab as a precaution, but autonomous mode was active during 85 percent of the trip.

Some day the job of truck operators might resemble the work of drone operators. This could reduce the incidence of truck driver fatigue or driver errors that cause truck accidents. In the meantime, crashes involving commercial vehicles will continue to result in catastrophic injuries for people in other vehicles. When it can be determined that the collision was caused by the negligence of the truck driver or due to improper truck maintenance, a personal injury attorney can often be of assistance in seeking appropriate compensation for the victim's losses.

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