Self-Driving Trucks May Replace Delivery Drivers After Incredible Cross Country Shipment Time
Human truck drivers may become a thing of the past, as self-driving trucks appear to operate quicker than their person-controlled counterparts.
The revelation comes after a driverless truck completed a cross country shipment much quicker than a human driver could have – arriving at its destination ten hours quicker.
The vehicle started its journey in Nogales, carrying a shipment of watermelons from Arizona’s southern point on the border with Mexico and ending 950 miles away, in Dallas.
The self-driving truck was autonomous for a large majority of the journey, but had a human driver for the first 60 miles, Insidermag reports.
According to the publication, the 950-mile route is reasonably straightforward. With this in mind, the autonomous truck completed the trip in 14 hours and 6 minutes, while estimates suggest a truck driven by a human would take exactly 10 hours longer – 24 hours and 6 minutes. The fast journey also meant the watermelons were almost a day fresher.
Unavoidably, self-driving trucks don’t face the same limitations regular ones do, as truck drivers can legally only be driving for a maximum of 11 hours at a time. They also need to have been off duty for at least 10 hours before getting behind the wheel.
The experiment was conducted by TuSimple, which specialises in self-driving technologies. The company prides itself on having developed ‘the world’s most advanced self-driving technologies specifically designed to meet the unique demands of heavy-duty trucks’.
Jim Mullen, the company’s chief administrative officer, believes TuSimple’s self-driving trucks could hugely benefit the food industry in particular. He said, ‘Given the fact that autonomous trucks can operate nearly continuously without taking a break means fresh produce can be moved from origin to destination faster, resulting in fresher food and less waste.’
Featured Image Credit: PA Images/TuSimple
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