Truckmaker Freightliner has announced its “Inspiration Truck” will be the first autonomous commercial truck to drive on American roads. Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval and Daimler Chairman Wolfgang Bernhard attached its Autonomous Vehicle license plate and it’s already been spotted on the road.
Big rigs might seem a little old-school but the American Trucking Associations points out that trucks moved 68.5 percent of all domestic freight tonnage in 2012 and Bernhard sees current road freight volumes tripling by 2050.
In a Q&A session, Bernhard explained that the Inspiration Truck will still have a driver, but that person’s purpose will be solely to monitor the truck’s systems and intervene in the event of a malfunction.
The truck requires no special hypothetical infrastructure, and it’s able to read road signs and traffic signals on its own.
Freightliner hasn’t revealed anything about the truck’s power, efficiency, economics, or a long-term production scheme but the Inspiration Truck will allegedly be revealed in more detail in the coming days.