Could Electric Freight Systems Replace Semi-trucks?

Dallas, 11/04/2016 /SubmitPressRelease123/

It took 18 years of research and development, but engineers at the Texas A&M Transportation Institute have revealed a prototype for an electric freight system that transports cargo without a semi-truck.

If you have been hurt in a traffic accident involving a semi-truck, it’s important to speak to an experienced Texas trucking accident lawyer right away. These are complex cases that require the knowledge and skill of a truck crash attorney. Don’t compromise your legal rights by waiting to discuss your case with a lawyer.  

The Autonomous Freight Shuttle System

As reported by the Texas Tribune, the Autonomous Freight Shuttle System was developed in response to a request from the federal government, which asked engineers to create a system for moving goods without the need for trucks on the highway.

The system works by using automated, electric shuttles that move trailers along an elevated highway, where they are far above passenger vehicles on the road below.  

According to the system’s designers, the transporters could be used to move freight up to 500 miles at a time, with transporters capable of moving up to 70,000 pounds of cargo at 60 miles per hour. Because the shuttle system is powered by electricity, designers say it uses one-third of the energy of the diesel-powered semi-trucks currently on the road. The project’s financial backers would like to build a five-mile system, with a vision to expand to 20 miles eventually.

In addition to being more environmentally friendly, proponents of the system say it also has the potential to reduce the number of traffic crashes involving semi-trucks. Because the system is completely driverless, it could also eliminate accidents caused by drowsy truck drivers. The system is also designed to operate around the clock.

Critics of the shuttle system say it will be too costly to build — currently, there are no elevated transport systems in the country, which means they would need to be built from scratch. One cost estimate puts the transport system at $13 million per mile, with the overall cost totaling $150 million for a 12-mile stretch in El Paso-Juarez. Other states have unveiled plans to reduce truck emissions by moving to electric trucks and biofuels. In California, for example, state lawmakers have a plan to roll out over 100,000 zero-emission trucks by 2030.

Possible Investment Dollars for Texas

Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who unveiled the prototype, said the project is especially important for Texas, which is the top exporting state in the country. With the recent expansion of the Panama Canal, Abbott said Texas’ ports are feeling the push to get freight distributed throughout the country at a faster pace.  

Eberstein & Witherite, LLP: Texas Truck Accident Lawyers

If you or a loved one has been injured in a semi-truck crash, call the Texas truck accident lawyers at Eberstein & Witherite, LLP 24/7 to speak to an experienced tractor-trailer accident lawyer about your case. Lawyers are available to speak to you today. You can reach us through our online contact form, or by calling 1-800-TRUCK WRECK (1-800-878-2597).


Media Contact
Lucy Tiseo
Eberstein & Witherite, LLP
Phone: 800-878-2597
Email: [email protected]
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