Iris van der Heijden on March 19, 2021
speaker_notes Blog

Self-driving car technology continues to evolve. It is interesting to take a look at this technology and what opportunities it can offer the moving industry. Will it be possible to use self-driving removal trucks in the future to save time and costs? In this article we'll tell you more about which companies are developing self-driving trucks.

The current situation of self-driving trucks

The future is already very close. The development of self-driving trucks has already started, and more and more companies are investing in this technological step. There is plenty of testing with self-driving trucks and the associated laws and regulations are already being put on paper. So, it doesn't have to take that long before we can see the trucks in action.

While there are many opponents to the idea, there are also plenty of benefits that self-driving trucks can impact the moving industry. Some examples are:

  1. An increase in productivity
  2. Lower operating costs
  3. A solution to the driver shortage

Which companies are developing self-driving trucks?

The development of self-driving cars is mentioned more often in the media, but there are many companies that are involved in the development of self-driving trucks. One of the first developing companies was Uber, but they stopped the developments in 2018.

Embark

Embark, a startup founded in 2016, focuses on automating the freeway part of a (moving) truck's journey. Their ambition is to have longer distances completed via an autonomous driving system, for example for transporting stocks to a warehouse.

Their technology has already been tested while driving a truck across the U.S. without human assistance. Embark doesn't build their own trucks, but they work with Peterbilt to fit their autonomous technology into existing trucks.

Daimler

Daimler, parent of Mercedes-Benz, already demonstrated a self-driving vehicle back in 2014. They have been focusing on "platooning": trucks driving closely behind one another, reducing air assistance and lowering fuel usage by 10 percent. The truck is not operated by a human, but they are present to take control when exiting freeways. Daimler's goal is to offer autonomous driving trucks within a decade.

Tesla

Tesla, already known for their self-driving cars. Their first autonomous driving truck was announced in 2017, but development has been delayed. The idea is that their trucks will be equipped with Tesla's Autopilot software as standard. This means that the truck itself steers, accelerates and brakes, but that the driver must remain alert and intervene where necessary. Tesla has also mentioned a form of "platooning", in which they want trucks to follow each other, whereby only the lead truck is driven by a human driver.

Other than these three companies, there are others who are also developing some kind of autonomous driving system. Will it be possible to encounter a large number of self-driving trucks on the highway in 2021? In the coming years, that chance will still be relatively small. The future must show how the evolution of autonomous driving trucks will continue to develop. It sure is a very interesting development to keep an eye on.