Big Step For Self-Driving Semis As Starsky Tests Unmanned Robo-Truck On Florida Highway

The San Francisco startup says it’s the first company to test an unmanned 18-wheeler on a stretch of highway–doing so by combining an onboard self-driving system with a remote operator standing by to guide the vehicle when necessary

Big Step For Self-Driving Semis As Starsky Tests Unmanned Robo-Truck On Florida Highway

Curated via Twitter from Forbes Tech’s twitter account….

Starsky Robotics, a San Francisco startup trying to commercialize automated truck technology, said it’s the first company to test an unmanned 18-wheeler on a stretch of U. S. highway–and doing so by combining an onboard self-driving system with a remote operator standing by to guide the vehicle when necessary.

Starsky Robotics, a San Francisco startup trying to commercialize automated truck technology, said it’s the first company to test an unmanned 18-wheeler on a stretch of U. S. highway–and doing so by combining an onboard self-driving system with a remote operator standing by to guide the vehicle when necessary.

Starsky’s approach to automated trucking differs from that of rivals like Alphabet Inc. ’s Waymo, TuSimple and a host of startups including Embark, Kodiak and Ike, all of which are working to perfect automated on-board systems that combine vision sensors, software and computing power robust enough to handle highway driving.

Starsky’s approach to automated trucking differs from that of rivals like Alphabet Inc. ’s Waymo, TuSimple and a host of startups including Embark, Kodiak and Ike, all of which are working to perfect automated on-board systems that combine vision sensors, software and computing power robust enough to handle highway driving.

As a result, it’s now generating revenue that helps fund ongoing development of its high-tech trucks, in addition to the $22 million its raised so far from initial investment rounds. "We’re in the neighborhood of half a million dollars a month," Seltz-Axmacher said, declining to comment on whether Starsky has additional fundraising plans.

Testing of a Volvo semi-truck loaded up with cameras and radar began June 16 on a 9. 4-mile stretch of the Florida Turnpike in Orlando, connected to a Starsky “teleoperations” center in Jacksonville, said CEO and co-founder Stefan Seltz-Axmacher.

Starsky Robotics began testing its automated and remotely operated semi-trucks with no human safety driver this month on a stretch of Florida highway.

Starsky Robotics began testing its automated and remotely operated semi-trucks with no human safety driver this month on a stretch of Florida highway.

Testing of a Volvo semi-truck loaded up with cameras and radar began June 16 on a 9. 4-mile stretch of the Florida Turnpike in Orlando, connected to a Starsky “teleoperations” center in Jacksonville, said CEO and co-founder Stefan Seltz-Axmacher.

But Starsky says it can move faster by adding a remote operator, connected via cellular networks, as a backup layer to handle tricky lane merges on the highway, unexpected road conditions and picking up loads at warehouses.

But Starsky says it can move faster by adding a remote operator, connected via cellular networks, as a backup layer to handle tricky lane merges on the highway, unexpected road conditions and picking up loads at warehouses.

The truck navigated a highway rest area, merged onto the Turnpike and changed lanes, maintaining an average speed of 55 miles an hour during. “This is literally the first time anyone has taken the person out of the vehicle on public highway,”  Seltz-Axmacher told Forbes.

The truck navigated a highway rest area, merged onto the Turnpike and changed lanes, maintaining an average speed of 55 miles an hour during. “This is literally the first time anyone has taken the person out of the vehicle on public highway,”  Seltz-Axmacher told Forbes.

Postal Service hauling mail from Phoenix to Dallas in its automated semis; and Volvo Trucks this month formed an autonomous tech alliance with Nvidia to create robotic commercial vehicles.

Postal Service hauling mail from Phoenix to Dallas in its automated semis; and Volvo Trucks this month formed an autonomous tech alliance with Nvidia to create robotic commercial vehicles.

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