Japan already has trucks that can drive themselvesFebruary 28, 2013 1 Email article | Print article
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.