BLACKSBURG, Va. (CBS Local) — You’ve heard of self-driving cars. Now a robotics company is getting ready to put self-driving tractor trailers on the road.
Daimler Trucks is teaming up with Blacksburg-based Torc Robotics to test the new technology on Southwest Virginia roads after months of testing on closed-loop courses.
Daimler said its self-driving test trucks will require a specially trained driver and an engineer in the cab as the vehicles operate in regular traffic on public highways near Blacksburg.
All safety drivers hold a valid commercial driver’s license and are specially trained for automated driving systems, the companies said.
Self-driving tractor-trailers to begin testing on Southwest Virginia roads https://t.co/p8wfGcE01v
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Daimler and Torc say they are developing Level 4 automated driving capabilities, which would enable trucks to drive themselves without requiring the driver to provide any input or monitor the road, at least in specific areas and under certain conditions.
“Bringing Level 4 trucks to the public roads is a major step toward our goal to deliver reliable and safe trucks for the benefits of our customers, our economies and society,” Daimler Board Member Martin Daum said Monday in a press release.
The companies envision these automated trucks eventually hauling freight on open highways in hub-to-hub operations.
Daimler Trucks hopes to introduce the technology within 10 years with the stated goal of preventing accidents, improving freight efficiency and reducing driver stress and fatigue.