We can keep our heads in the sand and tell ourselves they are decades away, but there are some real-world examples of the latest technology making this possible in quite a short time.
These examples are from Volvo, but you can be sure every major truck maker is pouring plenty of dollars into autonomous programs all over the world. In fact, the basic technology should be available to all of them, as the gizmos which make it possible – like the light-based radar – are being made by a wide spread of component suppliers.
So, these trucks are going to be a reality. The first areas to use them will be in confined areas like mine sites and industrial plants, but we can be sure the pace of technology development will not slow and enable the new trucks to interact with humans more and more over a short period of time.
Autonomous trucks delivering goods in the centre of Melbourne, no, or running a B-triple down the Bruce Highway, no. However, moving containers around the port and to nearby depots, quite possibly.