For the journey, Otto rigged up a Volvo truck with radar and lidar sensors and cameras. Otto’s technology delivers level 4 on the autonomy scale, which means it can drive off-ramp to on-ramp with great accuracy and consistency. The “driver”, who is now a computer scientist, tracks all the incoming information from the sensors and the system’s response to it. In fact, on this journey from Fort Collins to Colorado Springs, the driver didn’t even sit in the driver's seat! Instead, he monitored the truck from the back row. Of course, the system will stop working in cities; drivers need to take back control once they are in urban environments.
This journey marks a point of transition to full autonomy in trucks on highway roads. In a few months, we shouldn’t be surprised to hear about self-driving trucks doing cross-country trips, pushing the boundaries of autonomous technology. For now, some residents of Colorado Springs will enjoy a special Budweiser can: "First delivery by self-driving truck."
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Also read: Tesla cars now produced will have "Full Self-Driving Hardware" which will be safer than human drivers