The company is testing self-driving trucks on the I-576
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Can a truck without a driver drive fast next to you on the boulevard? It’s closer to reality than you think. Lawrence-based Locomation is working with transportation companies to deliver them on the road.
To get more of these stand-alone trucks on the roads, Harrisburg now has legislation in place to open the door to see more of them when you hit the road. Senate Bill 965 and House project 2398 facilitate autonomous management in the state.
Nowadays, if there is a platoon of trucks, everyone should have a driver, regardless of whether the truck is running autonomously or not. These bills will allow the leadless truck to be autonomous.
“So we are very optimistic that we are going to promote this bill, passed this summer and passed by the governor this summer,” said Vice President of Relocation Finch Fulton.
This would be beneficial for Locomation because their two-truck system would allow one driver to drive the leading truck and the other two to rest and then switch after so many hours.
“So we could use the trucks twice as much a day, which means up to 22 hours,” driver DJ Hoff said.
The lead truck will have a driver and serve as a guide for the second truck. With the help of sensors and other technologies the trucks will communicate with each other. A stand-alone truck will monitor all truck movements in front of it. Cameras in front, behind and on the sides allow him to see other vehicles.
“The whole convoy can move in difficult situations, such as work areas, accident sites, as well as interact with law enforcement and ambulances, as it is today,” said Zetin Merichili, CEO and co-founder of Locomation.
The company currently employs 100 people in the area and hopes to develop its business with an ever-growing technology sector. They have three trucking companies ready to go for their stand-alone trucks, one of which is PGT Trucking, based in Aliquip.
“We can’t create what is in this system anywhere in the country. We can find ways to test anywhere in the country,” Fulton said.
“We can only accommodate so much in this beautiful building, so we will definitely be looking to expand our scope of activities in the coming years,” Mericili said.
The adoption of this bill will allow more tests of trucks and roads on which they can drive.
Now they drive only on I-576 in the right lane. Until new trucks appear on the road, the company continues to test its trucks to make sure they can run as safely as possible.
“If we say this verdict and are backed up by evidence, we will be ready to go,” Merichili said.
Two bills are in the commissions in Harrisburg.