SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — A US startup called Otto believes that self-driving trucks are the next big thing in technology, a report in the Toronto Stardiscovered.
The company, consisting of former employees of Google, Apple, Tesla, and more began with the goal of turning regular commercial trucks into autonomous freight haulers.
Anthony Levandowski , one of the engineers behind Google’s self-driving technology, co-founded Otto with two other former Google employees, Lior Ron and Don Burnette, and another robotics expert, Claire Delaunay.
Levandowski said to The Star that Otto is aiming to deck trucks out with software, sensors, lasers and cameras so they can navigate the US highways on their own. The driver at that time can nap in the sleeper or complete other tasks.
According to a report on TheVerge.com, Otto is “currently testing with the Volvo VNL 780,” but is hoping to work with other Class 8 vehicles. TheVerge.com also confirms that Otto isn’t set on building their own trucks, rather making hardware kits for current truck models that can be installed on the truck at a service centre or during manufacturing.
The Star says Otto is looking for 1,000 professional truck drivers to volunteer to have self-driving kits installed on their cabs, at no cost, to help fine-tune the technology.
There is no timeframe for when Otto says it wants to complete its tests by, however it wants to retrofit all the US trucks on the road with its hardware kit.
You can read the report The Star wrote here or the article published by The Vergehere.