This is a big achievement
Score one for driverless vehicles.
Six teams of self-driving semi trucks finished long-distance journeys across western Europe Thursday morning, The Guardian reports, marking a major milestone in autonomous vehicle technology. The trucks left from countries like Sweden and Germany and ended their trip in The Netherlands.
Humans weren’t totally taken out of the equation in achieving the feat. The trucks were essentially playing “follow the leader,” with a group of driverless semis matching the speed and overall route set by a human driver in the vehicle up front.
Still, this so-called “platooning” maneuver can result in benefits like less traffic (as the trucks can drive much closer to one another) and increased fuel efficiency, meaning a potentially greener shipping industry.