Automatic for the People

Here it is, a vision of the future. A world where vehicles drive themselves autonomously around this world.  In fact, the future is likely to be with us sooner than you think, and the pace has heated up in the last few months:

 

Here are some of the reactions, by US truck journalists, to their first driving experience of the world’s first autonomous truck approved for use on public roads:

 

The first time you do so, it’s a decidedly strange feeling,” said Jack Roberts from Commercial Carrier Journal. “Your hands hover over the wheel for a few seconds waiting to grab it if something goes wrong. Except nothing goes wrong.”

 

World Premiere Freightliner Inspiration Truck

 

It was a perfect day to demonstrate its benefits, because the gusting crosswinds we were driving through can make driving tiring,” said Canadian journalist James Menzies from Truck News. “Highway Pilot took control and was able to handle the wind while I sat with my hands in my lap. Sometimes you don’t even realise how busy you are when driving in these conditions, but sitting back and watching the steering wheel movements really emphasised the point.”

 

 

The vehicle stays right between the marking lines, staying 3.5 seconds behind any other vehicle, exactly at the speed you programmed,” said another Canadian Steve Bouchard, from Todays Trucking . “It is that easy and so similar to using cruise control.”

 

 

According to Freightliner, the evaluation was held on public roads near Las Vegas amid windy weather, which actually highlighted the benefits of letting the Inspiration truck take over from the driver. Before climbing in behind the wheel, journalists were required to pass a special test to enable them to legally drive an autonomous commercial vehicle in Nevada. 

 

Here, an IBM representative runs through some of the data implications of autonomous and connected driving

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Author: Tim Giles

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