Look ma! No driver!
It’s a little strange, but it’s amazing, too, as the trucking industry enjoyed a major milestone Friday in Ft. Collins, Colorado.
In case you missed the livestream event of the world’s first autonomous crash impact truck, you can watch it in action below as reporters and curious onlookers take pictures and video the driverless truck.
Royal Truck’s Autonomous Impact Protection Vehicle (AIPV), which was purchased by the Colorado Department of Transportation, is designed to follow a lead vehicle and features impact attenuators (oversized rear bumpers) engineered to absorb the impact of wayward vehicles that otherwise may strike road workers.
Between 2000 and 2014, Colorado experienced 21,898 crashes and 171 fatalities in work zones. According to the Federal Highway Administration, in work zones in 2015, there was a crash every 5.4 minutes, 70 crash-related injuries every day, and 12 crash-related fatalities every week.
Royal Truck & Equipment, the nation’s largest manufacturer of truck-mounted attenuators, developed its AIPV with Micro Systems, a subsidiary of Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, and Colas, a U.K.-based transportation R&D firm.