Uber Self-Driving Trucks
Updated on July 31, 2018: Uber is shutting down its self-driving truck program to focus exclusively on developing self-driving cars.
Uber announced in early March 2018 that its self-driving trucks have been hauling freight on highways in Arizona for a few months. Uber plans to eventually operate the trucks without humans in the cabin, but for now the trucks continue to have a human driver behind the wheel as a backup.
Uber made its first self-driving truck commercial delivery in Oct. 2016, driving 120 miles in Colorado to deliver 2,000 cases of beer. In Arizona, Uber is using what it calls transfer hubs to have a conventional truck and self-driving truck exchange loads.
Transfer hubs allow Uber’s self-driving trucks to operate only on highways, which is where self-driving trucks are basically limited to at the moment. Uber said this system also maintains a role for the humans, who drive the final stretch in Arizona.
Uber has not revealed many details about the autonomous truck program, including how many self-driving trucks it’s operating and how many loads have been hauled by said trucks.
William K. says
What would be accepted today by both drivers and trucking companies is driver assistance systems. Hardware to help with safe following, and especially, systems to help keep the speed safe as road conditions change, while alerting the drivers to conditions ahead. Reducing fatigue while improving driver awareness would be accepted by both sides of the issue. Who could argue with improving both safety and profits?
William K. says
Here is another question, which is, how many different responses does the truck control computer have for any given situation, either actual or possible? The lack of the correct response is why the UBER car killed that woman in Florida. The car had only two choices and both were wrong! When the computer vision system noticed the woman next to the road it should have moved away, either into the next lane, or at least to the far edge of it’s own lane. That is what a smart human driver would do. . But it is certain that the computer only saw a clear lane and thus it was not in a position to avoid hitting the poor woman. If the car had been on the left edge of it’s lane it would have either missed her or just grazed her, but instead it saw no potential problem and so went on with it’s program of staying in the lane center. This is the intrinsic flaw in computer driven cars and there is no way to fix it. The best approach would be to stop wasting money before hundreds of folks die!