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Besides the long hours behind the wheel, other injuries to drivers are often due to the fact that semi-trucks are like mobile warehouses, with drivers performing a wide variety of duties in and around the tractor-trailer and its cargo, often in adverse weather or road conditions. (Credit: Andrey Popov/Shutterstock) Besides the long hours behind the wheel, other injuries to drivers are often due to the fact that semi-trucks are like mobile warehouses, with drivers performing a wide variety of duties in and around the tractor-trailer and its cargo, often in adverse weather or road conditions. (Credit: Andrey Popov/Shutterstock)

The world of self-driving trucks continues to expand as new technologies are being tested and more companies are emerging with revolutionary-designed autonomous fleets of semi-truck tractors that increase safety and efficiency. There’s no denying that these 80,000-pound tractor-trailer rigs, which number over two million in the U.S., will disrupt the trucking industry as fleets convert to autonomous units. It won’t be long when it will be normal to see these special trucks on the highway.

In 2017, the Texas legislature passed a pair of bills legalizing both driverless vehicles and trucks allowing these new self-driving trucking operations to deliver cargo to every corner of the Lone Star State. Unlike other states such as California, self-driving developers don’t need special permits to test in Texas. Executives with several autonomous trucking firms say that they are working closely with Texas authorities who, supporters say, are big boosters of trucking tech. Even the US Postal Service has tested transporting mail there via robotic trucks. Texas has also kicked off a number of U.S. Department of Transportation projects to promote advanced truck tech with funding from a federal grant that will serve to enhance the safety of all autonomous vehicles in the state.

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