Could driverless vehicles spell the end of the road for truck drivers?

Paul Solman: What we’re likely to see, Nadig says, at least in the short and medium term, is more automated features to make trucks safer and more fuel-efficient, automated transmission, of course, automated braking, autopilot for staying in the lane. But, look, they’re also still working in wind tunnels like this on old-school stuff like aerodynamic styling to save fuel.

And many of the newfangled features are already available on cars. For 80,000-pound, 53-foot-long 18-wheelers, there’s still a long way to go. In the next three years, says Steve Nadig, the most we’re likely to see is platooning, where, to decrease wind drag, while increasing safety, multiple trucks can be electronically linked together.

And when might you or I actually pull up alongside an autonomous truck?

Five years?

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