The U.S. Army will be testing autonomous trucks for the first time on a public highway this June in Michigan.
A convoy comprised of at least four Army trucks will be traveling on Interstate 69 in the Great Lakes State, according to Forbes.com.
Transponders positioned along the highway will be communicating with the trucks on such issues as speed, location and lane closures. The test will also assess communication between the Army trucks and civilian vehicles.
The interstate driving test will mark the first time that the autonomous Army trucks have been tested on a public road with non-government vehicles.
“We’re very sensitive to the safety of our engineers and our neighbors on the roadways,” Douglas Halleaux, an Army spokesman, told Forbes.com.
The Army is encouraged by self-driving trucks since they are designed to replace drivers that would otherwise be exposed to dangerous combat situations. Autonomous trucks also eliminate the issue of driver fatigue and mistakes.
However, critics of autonomous vehicles contend that communication links between the vehicle and outside sources pose security risks that could be exploited by unscrupulous hackers.
The Army has been testing autonomous driving technology for years. In May 2014, a convoy of seven unmanned Army trucks were driven at the Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site in South Carolina. The trucks reached speeds above 40 mph.