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Sep 14, 2016

SELF DRIVING TRUCKS * USA - Truckers: "But are we sceptical? ... Yes"

* California - The laughable reality of self-driving trucks

--- Walt Martin spent a decade as a long-haul truck driver, logging as many as 200,000 miles a year on the road... Now he's back on the highway in the driver's seat of a Volvo big rig, cruising the 280 freeway just south of town... Only he's not driving — that task is being handled by self-driving truck technology built by Martin's new employer, Otto. The 8-month-old start-up founded by Google Car veterans was just bought by ride-hailing giant Uber for $US670 million ($886.4 million)... "Is this all intriguing and promising? Yes," says Sean McNally, spokesman for the American Trucking Associations. "But are we sceptical? Yes" ... But trucking professionals aren't so sure. For reasons ranging from highway speeds to varying cargo requirements, trucking experts literally burst out laughing when asked about the notion of a driver sleeping while his truck barrels across a lonely state... ATA spokesman McNally stresses that, depending on the type of cargo that's being hauled, a driver might be required to constantly monitor his load's safety. That would make going to sleep impossible. He also adds that a regulatory framework that applies to all 50 states would be critical to making interstate self-driving trucking a reality... 
(Photo by TONY AVELAR - Matt Grigsby, senior program engineer at Otto, takes his hands off the steering wheel of the self-driving, big-rig truck during a demonstration on the highway, last month in San Francisco)   --  San Francisco, CAL, USA - The Financial Review (Australia), by Marco della Cava - 13 Sept 2016

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