If driverless cars give you the jitters, how about computer-assisted trucks instead? Because two 18-wheelers in Nevada look set to use automation to make them safer and more efficient—and they could be on the roads as soon as 2015.
Popular Science reports that the new computer-aided trucks, developed by Peloton Tech, can maintain a nice, safe distance of 33 feet between themselves and the vehicle in front, leaving the driver to merely steer. Hardly Google's vision of a driverless vehicle, but then, these things weigh as much as a house—so baby steps may be for the best.
The technology uses a real-time video link, GPS system, antennas, and a radar detector—which currently takes a week to install—providing something akin to a slightly smarter version of adaptive cruise control. Perhaps most importantly, it improves fuel efficiency, by as much as 10 percent for the trucks following the leader. The hope is to have the trucks running on Nevada roads—the first state to approve self driving cars—some time next year. [Peloton Tech via Popular Science via Verge]