Uber has revealed that a fleet of its driverless lorries have actually been safely delivering freight around the US state of Arizona for the last few months.
The undisclosed number of vehicles use Uber’s own self-driving technology and thanks to an agreement with the state, allow the driver to go completely handsfree.
What’s really interesting here is that Uber isn’t pushing this technology as the replacement for lorry drivers, instead it considers its technology to be an assistant for the drivers who will still be an essential part of the process.
The whole system works through Uber’s new trucking business Uber Freight and works by connecting shippers with truckers within the state of Arizona.
In the video above, Uber demonstrates how the self-driving truck can be used to take on the longest stretch of the journey thus reducing driver fatigue and increasing efficiency.
While you probably won’t see driverless trucks around the UK anytime soon the government has confirmed that it is looking into the idea of creating driverless ‘convoys’.
These would involved a lead truck (driven by a human) being followed by two or more self-driving trucks resulting in a form of road train. The lead driver would have ultimate control over the entire convoy.
Then of course there’s Tesla’s Semi, a fully-electric truck that should also come with the same advanced Autopilot technology that you find on most of its Model S and Model X cars.