Self-driving trucks are learning to circumvent major road debris
If you've ever swerved to avoid an obstacle on the highway, you'll understand why Aurora Innovation is teaching its self-driving trucks to be prepared for anything — including shredded tires or errant sofas.
Why it matters: Road debris is fairly common and can be dangerous, especially when vehicles are moving at highway speeds.
- Nearly 37% of all deaths in road debris collisions result from the driver swerving to avoid hitting an object, according to a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
What's happening: The latest beta version of Aurora's self-driving truck tech, called Aurora Driver, is trained to identify and steer clear of debris on the road to avoid swerving collisions at highway speeds.
- It can also navigate construction zones with temporary lane markings and identify vulnerable road users, such as cyclists and motorcyclists.
The bottom line: Autonomous vehicles have to share the road with other cars, cyclists and pedestrians, but also things that shouldn't be there — like a piece of furniture that fell off the back of a truck.
What to watch: Aurora aims to launch fully driverless semi trucks by the end of 2024.