By Bryan Wu
Trucking is an extremely boring job, one that requires many, many hours of just driving along highways. Truck drivers face health issues including poor eating habits, high stress, sunburn, back/neck injuries, fatigue, depression, and more. However, with the rise of autonomous driving, this may no longer be an issue.
A company called Embark created a self-driving semi truck that just drove from Los Angeles to Jacksonville with minimal help from its on-board human driver, the company reports. The trip was 2,400 miles long, and the on-board human only interfered for a few seconds at a time.
The autonomous technology inside the truck uses machine learning software, as well as data from the five cameras, three long-range radars, and two light detecting sensors to map its surroundings in real time. This allows it to avoid obstacles and other cars, as well as follow traffic laws.
It is not clear how many times the human truck driver had to step in during the 5 day trip, but Embark is currently working to assess all the data collected on the cross-country ride. The trip itself is being considered a success, and Embark wants to have 40 more trucks just like it by the end of 2018. However, I’m sure many truckers would not be happy to see this threat to their occupation.