The Truck of the Future? Self-Driving Construction Vehicles Being Tested for Highway Crews
Could this vehicle be the truck of the future? One company is banking on it.
A self-driving truck that's currently in development has been tested in Florida by Kratos Defense.
Maynard Factor, a member of the company, showed Inside Edition the “Truck of Tomorrow” at a test track near Pensacola.
Even he is willing to admit that the "phantom driver" effect is a bit odd.
“When somebody sees you with no hands on the steering wheel, or a person not in the vehicle at all, they do tend to look twice,” he said.
The truck is electronically tethered to a Hummer, which has a driver at the wheel and beams signals to sensors in the driverless truck.
“When this vehicle goes, that vehicle goes. He speeds up, he speeds up. When he stops, he stops,” he said.
The particular truck is designed for use by highway work crews. It acts as a mobile crash barrier, absorbing the impact of accidents.
But the creator of the driverless technology says it could be fitted into almost any vehicle.
Robert Roy, who runs Royal Truck And Equipment. He said: “It's already being used in the mining industry, off-road construction equipment, so the possibilities are endless on where this technology can be applied,” he said.
Self-driving cars are becoming a familiar presence on America’s highways. But Factor admits the technology is not ready for the open road just yet.
“We're in the ground floor, baseline testing, we still require a safety rider in the vehicle, in case of any mishaps,” he said.
“I think that our grandkids will look at us and try to figure out how we ever drove a vehicle with a steering wheel,” he said.