While Uber and Alphabet's Waymo are duking it out with accusations of technology theft, a startup quietly unveiled its own autonomous truck. Embark has introduced its self-driving truck with the intention of helping out human drivers.
The Verge noted that Embark's first self-driving big rig is a Peterbilt which happens to be the same truck company that made Optimus Prime or at least the truck used in the live-action film. The self-driving Peterbilt first hit the Nevada roads in August last year and has since been tested rigorously.
According to Venture Beat, Embark will utilize Deep Neural Networks or DNNs that has taught the truck to drive through different conditions including darkness, fog, and glare. Embark CEO and co-founder Alex Rodrigues also explained that the autonomous trucks are programmed to navigate various road situations safely. The technology makes use of a number of sensors, radars, and cameras whose tasks are to "see" what lies ahead and to react accordingly. Furthermore, the highway autopilot system will rely on machine learning to gather any data and use it to improve its performance making it even better and safer in the long run.
The startup company from San Mateo, CA has been working in silence since it was founded. Its main objective is to help out the 1.6 million drivers who drive huge tractor-trailer trucks all across the United States carrying 60 percent of freight that has to be moved across the country. Embark believes self-driving smart trucks will make it easier for these drivers to fulfill their tasks.
A number of companies are training their sights on autonomous driving. Tesla already has semi-autonomous cars on the road while Uber has Otto which, as mentioned, embroiled in a little controversy. Even FedEx is planning to employ self-driving delivery trucks to improve its service.