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Self-Driving Truck Tested in Ohio

If you've been watching the news, you may have read about Tesla's self-driving car that's been on the road for a couple of years. What you may not have known is that self-driving trucks are now being tested, too. A Fox News affiliate in Cleveland reported earlier in December that officials were testing a self-driving truck on the Ohio Turnpike. Self-driving trucks have the potential to be a game changer in the semi-truck industry.

The self-driving truck, named Otto, is a Volvo semi-truck who has been making deliveries as far away as California for a number of weeks. Otto makes these trips with his human driver, Matt, but Matt doesn't drive like a traditional truck driver. Instead, Otto calls the shots using an automatic computer to make decisions, while Matt sits in the driver's seat, ready to take control of the steering wheel in case of an emergency. Currently, Otto has a perfect safety record.

The tests taking place on the Ohio Turnpike are to learn more about the self-driving truck's performance and decision-making process, in a variety of weather and traffic conditions. Whenever Otto makes a decision, a team in California gets data from the truck and learns more about how and why it made decisions in traffic.

Developing self-driving semi-trucks has a number of positive implications for the trucking industry. The research shows that self-driving semi-trucks can react more quickly than human drivers, making the roads, and truck drivers themselves, safer. Self-driving trucks may also reduce fuel and insurance costs. Since federal laws require a commercial truck driver to be in the driver's seat of a self-driving semi-truck at all times, truck drivers will not only keep their jobs, but enjoy safer conditions while doing them.

Contact us if you'd like to learn more about the latest technological advances coming to the trucking industry.


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