“Semis, not personal cars, are the smartest use of autonomous technology.”

Self-driving trucks have been hauling refrigerators since October

#Robots

Tue, Nov 14th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

According to Wired, self-driving trucks monitored by a human have been driving 650 miles along the I-10 freeway, from a warehouse in El Paso, Texas, to a distribution center in Palm Springs, California, courtesy of startup Embark. They believe that the need for self-driving trucks is far more pressing than self-driving cars and achievable with the technology available now.

For now, the Embark milk runs are designed to test logistics as well as the safety of the technology. On each trip, a human driver working for Ryder (a major trucking company and Embark’s partner on this venture) heads over to the Frigidaire lot in El Paso, picks up a load of refrigerators, hauls them to the rest stop right off the highway, and unhitches the trailer. Then, a driver working for Embark hooks that trailer up to the robotruck, cruises onto the interstate, pops it into autonomous mode, and lets it do its thing. The truck mostly sticks to the right lane and always follows the speed limit. Once in Palm Springs, the human pulls off the highway, unhitches the trailer, and passes the load to another Ryder driver, who takes it the last few miles to Frigidaire’s SoCal distribution center.

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