New Tests Being Conducted with Autonomous Vehicles
Embark, a startup focused on technology in transportation, claims their self-driving solutions will help make driverless vehicles more common on US roadways. The CEO has already spoken at length concerning the impact these types of vehicles could have. The purported benefits of this move include things like reduced emissions and fewer accidents.
The company is currently conducting tests on a Peterbilt truck. The tests, which were approved by regulators in Nevada, involve using Embark’s self-driving system to gauge a vehicle’s performance and handling when carrying larger loads. Otto tests in California, but the Uber-owned self-driving startup is allowed to exceed the 10,000-pound weight-limit for driverless vehicles because in the case of Otto, a driver is still onboard.
One of the main questions about driverless technology is the type of impact they may have on the truck driving job-market. While many believe that this would be an automatic job-killer, administrators at Embark don’t necessarily see it this way.
One of the main ways the company envisions driverless trucks operating is via a system of infrastructure designed for them. The truck would be driven to this area, where it would self-drive to the end of this area. Once it reached that destination, a driver would complete the trip. This could result in more short trips for drivers and help them avoid the longer routes which can lead to fatigue and accidents.
The self-driving systems the company uses depends on radar, sensors, and even a laser-based form of radar. While Otto’s vision differs from Embark’s in that the former wants to have drivers onboard for long trips, it is clear truck drivers will still be needed regardless of how this technology develops.