After the great efforts in the development of autonomous cars, a trend towards autonomous trucks seems to be emerging. Companies such as AutoX, Waymo or Aurora started their efforts to develop technologies for self-driving passenger vehicles, but now Aurora has also announced to start the first test drives with trucks. These tests are to start in Texas and will be the first commercial offer of the start-up, even before Robotaxis.
On the company’s blog a first video of the Aurora truck was shown. The vehicle is equipped with the company’s own LiDAR and the Aurora Driver, which have just been publicly presented a few days ago.
Autonomous trucks are emerging for technology companies as the first low-hanging fruit which can be the first revenue source. In the US, a truck travels well over 90 percent of the way on highways and often only a few miles from the starting point to the highway and from the highway to the final destination. Driving on the highway is comparatively easy to automate compared to densely populated areas with a lot of traffic and road users.
Here is the truck that Aurora is now going to use.
This article was also published in German.
How are these trucks going to run in winter weather and perform dangerous up grades and down grades and black ice driven on even flat grounds and fog and heavy down pouring rain.and thru construction. How are these trucks going to handle blow outs on the highway’s with 80 thousand pounds of weight with human lifes out there .and computers malfunctioning. Taken thousands of lifes each year its sounds like people just want to make millions but not think of the future of human lifes and family’s. Out on the road
You think you are the only one having come up with all the possible things that can go wrong on a truck and the weather and road conditions?
You think the developers of those self-driving functionality do not employee experienced truck drivers (they do), drive in rain, snow, ice (they do, and in many more), gather millions of miles of real world driving with the trucks (they do), and test on test tracks as well (they do) AND simulate hundreds of thousands of scenarios in virtual worlds, including how to detect and safely stop an 80,000 pound truck?
Well, I break you the good news: there are many many other smart people with a lot of trucking and logistics experience, including regulators, scientists, mechanics, programmers, truckers, etc. working for and with those companies. Happy?