We’ve heard of self-driving cars, but what about self-driving trucks? Meet America’s first licensed self-driving commercial truck.
It is being billed as the first licensed autonomous commercial truck to operate on an open public highway in the United States, showcasing what is possible through the energy of infinite inspiration.
Daimler, which owns Freightliner, says it has done more than 10,000 miles of testing on the truck. Nevada allows driver-less vehicle testing on public roads as long as a driver is present and ready to take over.
And while the truck will drive itself, there are limitations that make sure the driver is still needed. For instance, in emergency situations, the driver is alerted to take the wheel. Another safety precaution: the truck won’t pass a slower vehicle that is ahead of it.
Critics say whats the point of an autonomous vehicle if you need a person to maintain control? To that point, federal safety regulators say they still need to do more research on the potential safety and benefits of autonomous technology.
The truck isn’t quite a working reality, though. Daimler isn’t taking customer orders just yet, and company officials say it could be years before a fully self-driving truck would be used on roadways.
Some experts say the truck is just a sign of our technological times. After all cars are now outfitted with technology that includes automatic parallel parking and blind spot warnings.
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