In March, a self-driving eighteen-wheeler spent more than five straight days hauling goods between Dallas and Atlanta. Running around the clock, it traveled more than 6,300 miles, making four round trips and delivering eight loads of freight.
The result of a partnership between Kodiak Robotics, a self-driving start-up, and U.S. Xpress, a traditional trucking company, this five-day drive demonstrated the enormous potential of autonomous trucks. A traditional truck, whose lone driver must stop and rest each day, would need more than 10 days to deliver the same freight.
But the drive also showed that the technology is not yet ready to realize its potential. Each day, Kodiak rotated a new team of specialists into the cab of its truck, so that someone could take control of the vehicle if anything went wrong. These "safety drivers" grabbed the wheel multiple times.
From The New York Times
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