This is a repost of a story about the autonomous truck driving company named IKE. Those of us here at Truck Depot LLC liked it and decided to repost, from the original story we found in HDT it as it was written to share what we believe to be the more optimistic reality of autonomous trucks. The fact that this companies technology is one that requires that a human still be in the truck somewhat as a co-pilot as opposed to the others that are eliminating the human driver factor all together. So go ahead and check out the story and leave your comments to let us know what you think as well.
“President Dwight Eisenhower was enough of a visionary to advocate for the establishment of the Interstate Highway System. And so, while presidents usually get a luxury car marque named after them, it’s a fair assumption Ike would be pleased to see his name given to a new, startup autonomous truck company.
As reported by Wired magazine, the San Francisco start-up Ike was founded by CEO Alden Woodrow, CTO Jur van den Berg, and Nancy Sun, chief engineer. The top management team have all worked at some of the automotive industry’s major autonomous vehicle developers, including Google, Apple, Otto, and Uber. In fact, all three executives left Uber last summer after the company shut down its autonomous truck development unit.
Today, according to Wired, the three managers say they’re taking a small step back in terms of capability, with a goal of focusing on a more “elemental” self-driving truck. According to Wired, this led to the decision to focus on trucks, instead of cars, since long-haul trucks don’t typically have to deal with pedestrians or cyclists and usually enjoy well-marked lane lines.
“We do not want to do a single right turn off the highway,” van den Berg told Wired, noting that even right turns are technological complications. Instead, he envisions Ike’s trucks pulling into roadside transfer hubs, where humans drivers will climb in and pilot the rigs to their final destinations.
To jumpstart the development process, Wired reports, Ike is licensing the autonomous vehicle software from robotics and artificial intelligence developer Nuro, a two-year-old self-driving startup that focuses on delivery robots and launched its first pilot project with Kroger in June.
In return for a stake in Ike, Nuro will give the company access to software that helps autonomous vehicles “see” and “understand” what’s going on around them, Wired reports. Ike developers will have to adapt those systems to work in a self-driving truck.
Ike expects to start testing its autonomous truck technology on California highways in a matter of months.”