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Company demos driverless truck tech in traffic without a human safety driver in ‘significant milestone’

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A California tech company reports that they’ve achieved a major milestone in their quest for totally autonomous truck technology with a demonstration that was completed without any assistance from a human driver or remote operator.

On Thursday, Silicon Valley-headquartered Plus (formerly Plus.ai) announced the successful completion of a driverless Level 4 truck demonstration on a highway. The demonstration was performed without a safety driver on board, a remote operator, or any other type of human intervention.

Other companies have completed Level 4 automation demonstrations, but always with a human safety driver in the cab who is able to take the wheel should something go wrong.

“This represents a significant milestone for the autonomous trucking industry,” Plus said in a news release.

The demonstration was performed in traffic on the newly built Wufengshan highway in China in June 2021 with a special permit. “During the demonstration, the driverless truck drove safely and smoothly in typical highway traffic,” Plus said.

You can view the demo video below.

“The driverless demo highlights the ability of our Level 4 autonomous driving technology to enable driverless highway operations in a semi truck. The demo shows the safety, maturity, and functionality of our technology, and we are excited to continue to work closely with our suppliers, fleet customers, and OEM partners to further develop, test, and refine a driverless product for commercial deployment,” said Shawn Kerrigan, COO and Co-founder of Plus.

Plus says that they plan to bring a fully driverless truck to market in 2022.

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