As if big rigs weren't scary enough on the highway, new wireless technology allows drivers to put their rig on autopilot.
Truckers would still have their hands on the wheel, but computers linking a pair of trucks would control the braking and acceleration, allowing them to platoon closer together, thus saving on fuel costs and possibly reducing accidents.
John Esparza with the Texas Trucking Association says the idea has been kicked around for 20 years.
“Where you see we're going to send six trucks from point A to point B, we do it every morning, there could be some designations for that,” he tells KTRH News.
The company behind the technology promises up to $10,000 in fuel savings within a year. However, trucking companies remain skeptical.
“At one point do you as a trucking company invest in that technology and hope the return on investment is real and is today or tomorrow and not two years from now?” Esparza asks.
Also, the the makers of the software admit it won't work in bad weather and new federal regulations could limit the needed tailgating distance to make it happen.
“If that company owner fears for a minute I'm not so sure about magnets and the technology has got some hiccups to it, they're not going to jump in, they're not going to play that guinea pig,” says Esparza.