Autonomous Big Rigs Coming to Highways from Volvo and Aurora

A moving truck on a highway. Blue graphics around the truck visualize an advanced driving technology.

( – Self-driving eighteen-wheelers are finally coming to highways now that Volvo and Aurora manufacturers are ready to let them loose. These driverless trucks are run using computers and sensors, without needing any human in the driver’s seat.

There has been some controversy over these self-driving big rigs as over sixty percent of people said they would feel a bit uncomfortable with these freight trailers on the road. The self-driving truck company Aurora and car manufacturer Volvo have teamed up to make a self-driving eighteen-wheeler called the Volvo VNL.

There will be a human safety operator on board in the beginning to make sure that there is someone to take over if the autonomous systems have any issues. In the next few months, they plan to start using these trucks in preparation for broader commercial operation.

The Volvo VNL truck is designed with safety at the forefront, and according to Colco Autonomous Solutions, the engineer approach pushed high-assurance redundancy systems, which would help in emergencies.

The truck has been built with redundant systems that are integrated for safety components like steering, communication, braking, computation, energy storage, power management, and vehicle motion management.

The truck also runs with Aurora Driver, the self-driving system that includes dual computers, self-driving software, an in-house lidar that can detect objects more than thirteen hundred feet away, imaging radar, and high-resolution cameras around the truck.

This is the first step as both companies push forward to commercialize self-driving trucks by the end of this year. Volvo and Aurora are the last autonomous truck companies that are left after Waymo Via and TuSimple ceased operating in the United States.

Aurora has been prepared to launch their self-driving trucks, and great expense comes with it since the company announced it would be cutting three percent of its labor staff to trim costs ahead of this project. Aurora has started to launch pilot programs for logistics companies FedEx, Ryder, Schnieder, and Uber Freight. At the beginning of the year, Aurora and Continental, an automotive supplier, started the first phase of a three-hundred-million-dollar project to mass-produce these autonomous trucks.

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