Should Autonomous Vehicles Be Designed to Crash?

If you’ve driven in Colorado long enough, then you have probably seen a road work convoy or two. These mobile work projects are what help keep Colorado roads and highways clean and maintained. However, when these workers are doing their jobs, they can be vulnerable to the traffic around them. That’s why crash trucks follow these convoys everywhere, but now new technology could turn these into autonomous vehicles. Is Colorado ready?

Are Autonomous Vehicles Designed to Crash a Good Thing?

Right now, there are autonomous crash vehicles on Colorado’s highways and roads. These vehicles are huge trucks covered in metal bumpers and yellow paint. They are designed to keep road workers safer, and making these vehicles autonomous may just improve that design.

Up until now, the state has employed people to drive these trucks, and that has always caused a serious problem. How safe is a worker driving a vehicle that’s designed to absorb crashes? The simple solution is to take the driver out of the equation, but that’s not easy.

Kratos Defense and Security—which makes missile guidance systems and drones for the military—has developed self-driving technology for crash trucks. A normal car, fitted with a sensitive GPS system, leads the crash truck. As it follows this car, the truck emits a signal that allows it to control its speed and position. It even has its own radar to help avoid obstacles.

This complicated piece of technology will help remove actual people from harm’s way if a crash should occur, but there are still a few questions to be answered. How much will this system cost the state? What will happen if one of these crash trucks malfunctions? Could other vehicles like garbage trucks and road sweepers be on the list to become autonomous?

Brought to you by the Colorado safety lawyers at Metier Law Firm—we want you to be protected during this new age of advanced technology.

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