Self-driving delivery trucks are already on North Texas highways. How safe are they?

For now, these delivery trucks making stops at Sam’s Clubs, Krogers and other destinations do have a human behind the wheel — a safety driver in case of emergencies or technology glitches. Soon, that will no longer be the case…

While some states have different rules on testing and deploying autonomous trucks, Texas is very hands off on regulation, experts say. Texas’ regulatory environment means we could see more of these trucks on our roads. But that’s concerning to Philip Koopman, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University who has been working on self-driving car safety for more than 25 years. Autonomous trucking companies decide for themselves when they think their vehicles are safe enough to operate on public roads, Koopman said.

“The government probably made that decision for jobs and economic growth,” Koopman said. “But the cost of that decision is you’re potentially putting other road users at risk, and there’s no way to figure out how safe it is.