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Embark Presents New Autonomous Truck Technology

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May 1, 2017—Embark, a startup company based in San Mateo, Calif., has announced self-driving technology designed to allow trucks to run on highways autonomously. Embark said in a press release its goal is not to simply assist drivers, but to enable completely unmanned trucks to travel on highways from entrance to exit, while continuing to rely on humans for city driving.

Since city driving can be unpredictable, Embark said it won’t attempt to automate that for the foreseeable future. But, with the bulk of the time a big truck is in use being on the freeway, the company feels automation in those settings can be a significant boost to a company’s productivity.

Currently, trucks are designed to carry roughly 12 hours’ worth of fuel (more would be unnecessary weight, considering drivers refuel when they stop to rest for the night). But a self-driving truck could carry all the fuel it needed to get from its starting point to its final destination, driving continuously until it arrives. That, Embark noted, could make rigs more profitable.

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