No Driver Needed: Autonomous Trucks Will Be on Florida Roads by the End of the Year

Thursday, 27 August 2015 - 2:15PM
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Robotics
Thursday, 27 August 2015 - 2:15PM
No Driver Needed: Autonomous Trucks Will Be on Florida Roads by the End of the Year
Autonomous vehicles are quickly becoming a reality, and although there are still many detractors, they seem more and more like an inevitability. Royal Truck and Equipment has just unveiled their Autonomous TMA trucks, which will drive on Florida roads sans drivers by the end of the year.



The ATMA trucks can be driven in several different ways: through leader-follower technology, in which a leader car is pre-programmed to drive to a destination, through GPS Waypoint navigation, or via remote control, like a giant toy car. But regardless of which method is used, the trucks are distinct from any of the other self-driving rigs on the road, as they don't require a driver to be on board. Google's autonomous trucks are testing in California, and Daimler's self-driving tractors are on the roads in Nevada, but they all require human drivers to oversee the robotic vehicle.

The ATMA trucks can keep workers safely off the road, and the above footage is amazing, especially watching the steering wheel move on its own. It looks like the climax of a cheesy ghost movie.

There are many concerns about driverless vehicles regarding safety, not to mention that truck driving provides a lot of people with jobs. But studies consistently show that machines are better drivers than people, and that more autonomous cars would lead to fewer traffic accidents and reduced traffic congestion. And if this "no driver needed" philosophy becomes a trend, then there will be fewer people on the road in general. So even when traffic accidents do happen, they would lead to fewer casualties.

Via Popular Science.
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