Along a rural stretch of public road in south-central Florida, a heavy-duty truck recently drove itself for 7 miles with nobody on board the vehicle.
It was one of a series of test runs autonomous truck startup Starsky Robotics completed Feb. 16 and 17 with a Class 8 Freightliner tractor outfitted with its self-driving technology. The truck completed its 7-mile run on the second day, a day after logging 2- and 5-mile unmanned drives in what the company said were the first such tests conducted without a backup driver in the cab. For each run, the truck traveled without a trailer.
The tests were conducted on a closed-off section of County Road 833 in rural Hendry County, near Lake Okeechobee just outside the Everglades. The truck was monitored by a “remote driver” from an office roughly 80 miles away in Plantation, Fla., viewing video feeds from the truck’s onboard cameras, the company said.