First Ever Self-Driving Commercial Truck Introduced in Nevada

First Ever Self-Driving Commercial Truck Introduced in Nevada
Image via Flickr by fdenardo1

Not many states have approved autonomous vehicles on their roads, but Nevada is among the early adopters. That’s one reason why Freightliner, a truck manufacturing company, decided to introduce their autonomous big rig in this state. It’s the first ever commercial truck with self-driving features. It helps truck drivers be safer on the road with less fatigue.

Freightliner representative Wolfgang Bernhard said, “Ninety percent of commercial truck accidents are due to driver error and one in eight of those are due to driver fatigue.” Freightliner’s self-driving commercial truck is designed to handle long, dull stretches of road by monitoring lane markers, other vehicles, and signage with a built-in camera. There still has to be a driver sitting in the front seat, but it takes a lot less brain power to drive one of these autonomous big rigs.

The technology for this self-driving commercial truck came from Freightliner’s sister company, Mercedes-Benz. They created a lane departure prevention system that relies mostly on cameras. Unfortunately, it only works when there is clear roadside signage and clear lane markets. In the rain and snow, the driver of this Freightliner truck has to put in the normal effort involved in driving a big rig.

Elsewhere across the country, several companies are testing self-driving cars. Many of those have ended in accidents, showing that the reality of being about to sit in a car with no actual driver is still a long ways off. However, Freightliner’s autonomous truck puts us one step closer. It isn’t actually a robot truck, but it does help truck drivers be safer on the road by monitoring tedious things that cause fatigue.

Big rigs in Nevada that have autonomous features are marked with a special road license plate. However, the drivers do not need extensive training to operate them. The instructions are intuitive and easy to use. You can think of it as a fancy cruise control.

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