We love to hear about new car technology at eTeknix; Electric Vehicles (EVs) and autonomous driving have caught our eye a lot recently. Self-driving cars have given us a look into the future and now it seems the next step has come to pass, self-driving trucks.
American truck company, Daimler, has now put the finishing touches on their semi-autonomous truck. This can now legally operate on the highways of Nevada thanks to thousands of hours and miles of rigorous testing. It had to drive over 10,000 miles on a self-contained circuit in Germany before it was ‘granted’ a license. Nevada governor, Brian Sandoval, has officially granted the “Freightliner Inspiration Truck” a license for road use in the state, giving it the status of “First of its kind” to navigate public roads in the US.
The system, dubbed “Highway Pilot System” isn’t fully autonomous, it operates by cameras, radars and hundreds of other sensors, but still requires a human input from behind the wheel; this system sounds more like a highway co-driver and the human driver has to take over for manoeuvring off the highway. When the system takes over, the sensors and computers then take charge of maintaining a legal speed, lane selection and maintaining braking distance from the car in front. This then frees up the driver to take on other tasks like stock take and route planning and scheduling.
Currently, there are only two of these trucks in operation and it’s unclear whether more will be made. I actually like the sound of this, the little black box in The Simpsons has now become a reality, but surely this is just another step towards ‘Robots taking over jobs’? Let us know what you think in the comments.
Thank you to engadget for providing us with this information.