Later this year, driverless trucks will be used on highway construction sites in Florida. Royal Truck and Equipment of Coopersburg, Pennsylvania created these vehicles under the state’s Department of Transportation pilot program. Royal’s eventual goal is to make all work zones safer throughout the country using this technology.
The United States military uses similar technology on their unmanned vehicles. Just like military vehicles, these completely autonomous trucks are controlled by remote control, GPS navigation and via leader/ follower programming. Micro Systems Inc. of Fort Walton Beach, Florida worked with Royal to power this technology.
The idea behind these trucks is to further prevent crashes and road worker injuries from happening. Originally, crash trucks were invented as a safety measure to protect other automobiles from crashing into highway construction trucks. Up until now, these crash trucks have been driven by construction workers. While these crash trucks have saved countless lives of other vehicles through their heavy-duty crash barriers, they have still put the drivers of these trucks at serious risk. Driverless trucks remove the driver from a very dangerous situation, so there’s nobody inside to suffer the damages and injuries.
Although self-driving cars and self-driving tractor trailers have already been developed by companies such as Apple and Tesla Motors, it will be many years before they actually hit the roads.
For now, the pilot program in Florida will be the first test of driverless trucks used for safety on construction sites.
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