Semi-autonomous Truck Drives Itself 2,400 Miles Delivering Fridges
San Francisco-based Embark Trucks, a San Francisco-based company, has accomplished the feat of pulling off a semi-autonomous drive from Los Angeles to Jacksonville, Florida. This 2,400-mile cross-country trip is significantly longer than the earlier test run from Los Angeles to El Paso.
The impressive thing is that the truck was carrying Frigidaire fridges for the trip. Embark says, however, that this technology is not meant to replace human drivers, especially with the unemployment for the profession. A driver will still be needed to do last-mile driving and other handling, but the automation takes care of the long, tedious travels. So basically the human part of the equation takes action when necessary instances arise.
The whole travel time took around five days, but given the fact that computers don’t need time to rest, it can still be cut down to just two days. That’s going to be revolutionary in terms of delivery exploits.
Embark's setup doesn't depend merely on maps, but rather it takes into consideration sensor data and machine learning, which allows the autonomous driving to take faster, shorter routes. In four months, Embark's test fleet has expanded from just two trucks to five, and plans are already laid out to make it 40 by the end of the year.