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A Self-Driving Truck Made It Coast-to-Coast for the First Time

San Francisco-based Embark Trucking went the extra mile with its self-driving truck, literally.

First autonomous technology came for our taxi drivers, and then came plans to take over pizza delivery, and now it?s coming for our road trips. We can?t have anything anymore. Well, not really, but San Francisco-based Embark Trucking just set a little vehicular history by embarking (get it?) on a 650-mile, cross country trip with a self-driving truck. This is just another serious contender in the world of autonomous freight technology.

Completed on February 6, the Silicon Valley startup announced one of its autonomous driving trucks made the coast-to-coast jaunt using a Peterbilt tractor and an assortment of sensors and self-guiding software to light out on the I-10 stretching from Los Angeles to Jacksonville, Florida, and back.

It took five days to get the self-driving truck across the territory with little help from human hands.

Watch the video below to get a glimpse at Embark’s cross-country trek:

Even though the driver was more of a tech spotter for the software he did still have to help the self-driving truck with things like getting on and off the freeway and finishing the last bit of the trip to make a delivery.

The Future is Now for Embark

Embark CEO, Alex Rodrigues—who we don?t want to say is giving Elon Musk a run for his money, but maybe he is—started out with just two self-driving trucks last year and is looking to have a fleet of 40 by the end of 2018. Currently he?s using the test trucks to gather data, fix glitches, and run things more smoothly when it?s time to put his Embark trucks on the road for real.

Rodrigues?s plans for Embarks role in self-driving truck technology is to have trucks come with factory-installed technology offered through OEM?s. Rodrigues also notes that he will focus on self-guiding technology, like teaching how to get on and off freeways, instead of working to manufacture vehicles.

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