Unmanned stores at ATMs, unmanned airplanes, taxis without driver … And now autonomous trucks. The “war” in the field of artificial intelligence and the possibility of using machines instead of humans-including the controversy that this point is generating in society-is an increasingly closer reality.
One of the most intense battles is waged in the automotive sector, although it goes beyond saving the average citizen the task of driving: applications in freight transport begin to take off to lower costs and add efficiency, and these days we are witnesses to one of the most spectacular “skirmishes”. The technological giant Google and the emerging firm Uber have issued two releases this week in which they claim that both have been deploying their pilot projects of autonomous trucks on the roads of Arizona (one of the states that allow in North America the driving of the autonomous car). , like Nevada or California). And they “threaten” to expand the battlefields.
Uber takes the first step
The first was Uber, who announced that since last November he was using large vehicles without a driver to transport goods on long-distance trips. However, it is not a truck with no one at the wheel, since the system is supervised by a professional driver, ready to take control in case of emergency.
This project fits into his new project, launched last May, called Uber Freight and focused on the transport of goods. This is a step beyond after getting in 2016 the first delivery with an autonomous truck of 2,000 boxes of beer in a Colorado center, after traveling 200 kilometers in a straight line.
A few days later, Google was launching a counterattack, but through the mouth of Waymo, the division of Alphabet (parent company of Google) that is responsible for the autonomous transport program. The company said they had been testing their driverless trucks on Arizona roads (as well as in California) and that their intention now is to extend the project to Atlanta.
And not only will it remain in vehicles: the idea is to introduce artificial intelligence also in factories, distribution centers and even ports, to create an autonomous transport and logistics network.
These two projects are not the only ones: the company Embark has managed to cross from coast to coast of the United States (about 3,800 kilometers) with a similar vehicle, which indicates the interest of the companies in ending human drivers for the benefit of drivers mechanized For now, the “war” continues.