A new self-driving truck startup — this one helmed by two 21 year olds — has entered the market today, unveiling technology that they say will turn transform truck runs from long hauls into short jaunts.
This morning, the California-based startup company “Embark” unveiled technology that they say will allow semis to travel from exit to exit on the highway without a human driver. The Embark trucks will use cameras, radar, and artificial intelligence technology in order to allow the truck to “learn” from experience, say the developers.
Embark’s founders, 21 year old Alex Rodrigues and 21 year old Brandon Moak, revealed that they have been at work on their autonomous truck startup since last summer and that they’ve already logged 10,000 test miles on Nevada roads.
Founder Say Embark Will Make Life Better For Truck Drivers
Rodrigues and Moak say that they developed the company to improve the quality of life of truck drivers, not to put them out of work. From this morning’s news release:
“Professional truck drivers were at the forefront of the team’s mind when they first developed the technology. Embark’s truck is built specifically to handle long, simple stretches of freeway driving between cities, rather than all aspects of driving. At the city limit, Embark’s computerized truck hands off to a human driver who navigates the city streets to the destination. A human driver will still touch every load, but with Embark they’re able to move more loads per day, handing off hundreds of miles of freeway driving to their robot partners.”
Rodrigues says that he actually expects that truck driver salary will go up as the job becomes more customer-service oriented and less about driving hundreds of miles per day.
Embark differs from self-driving truck manufacturer Otto in that Otto would keep a driver in the truck during each trip while Embark would be totally unmanned during long hauls.