Japan already has trucks that can drive themselves

japantruck

Slow down Japan! While everybody else in the world is seemingly still preparing for self-driving cars, they’ve already got theirs on the road. Japanese company NEDO, has a convoy of four trucks programmed to drive 4 meters from each other while on the road.

The reason for the spacing is that it cuts down on air resistance, reducing fuel consumption to up to 15 percent. NEDO has been working on this idea since 2010, and recent tests have shown that the “Automated Truck Platoon” is making some pretty good progress. One of the ways the system can be used is with one human in the lead truck while the rest of the trucks behind it are all computer-controlled. Here’s a video of that in action:

But what makes this really amazing is that the system is now capable of having all trucks completely driverless, without a human to lead them. This is a video of a lead truck with no human in control:

Wow, if they keep this up, we’ll be seeing this guy in a couple of years.

[via NHK, The Verge]

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  1. michael clyde

    i know this article is about trucks (and thanks by the way) but,
    didn’t i read a year or two ago about google stating they had had this technology (for whatever reason) for a couple of years and had humans in the vehicles just to keep other motorist from freaking out?
    i thought then, as i do now, it’s a shame that an entity with that much r & d money can’t buck against the big money oil companies and actually produce and market a viable fuel alternative instead of letting the oil companies dictate which direction we go and how fast we proceed.

    michael clyde