The world is thrilled by autonomous cars, but there’s another useful—albeit less exciting—form of transport that will probably drive itself sooner: The big rig. Now, a team of ex-Google engineers is trying its hand at building autonomous trucks.
Freightliner just unleashed the first real, road-legal autonomous big rig on the roads of Nevada. Here’s what that actually means and why it really matters.
The Freightliner “Inspiration Truck” will be the first autonomous commercial truck to drive on American roads. Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval and Daimler Chairman Wolfgang Bernhard just bolted on its Autonomous Vehicle license plate to prove it’s the real deal, and it’s already been spotted in action.
After five years and $115 million of development, the Freightliner SuperTruck is Daimler's answer to a lofty challenge set by the Department Of Energy: "improve semi-truck fuel economy by at least 50 percent." This concept blows that benchmark out of the water.
Navistar's new flagship truck, the LoneStar, is a mobile geek mansion: Monsoon stereo system with 11 speakers, subwoofer and amp, a giant desk with swivel chairs, wooden floors, 42-inch mattress and a bunch of other unnecessary creature and gadget comforts, like Bluetooth. Update: Our greasemonkey brothers at Jalopnik…