A Robot Highway for Self-Driving Trucks connecting Mexico and CanadaBy Valeria Bigurra Peñavera
A corridor that could allow self-driving trucks to transit across Route 83.
Imagine the idea of a robot highway, going from Canada to Mexico… A bit over the top? Well, you’ll be very surprised and glad to know that this may not be so crazy after all, and may be closer than you though!
Last week, a group of truck drivers gathered in North Dakota, where Mario Anderson -who is part of the la Central North American Trade Corridor Association (CNATCA)-, assured that the idea of self-drive trucks transporting cargo from Canada to Mexico, going through the United States, on a robot route in which there’s no need of passport or visa, is not such a crazy idea and more of a close reality. He was quoted from an article published on The Globe and Mail.
How will this work? Simple: The plan is to create a new corridor for self-driven vehicles that may traverse this route in the near future. Route 83 runs from the north to the south, going through Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota, in order for then to traverse on to Manitoba.
There are several reasons why such project gains importance, being one of the main ones the following: North Dakota produces great amounts of oil and, and there’s not a very efficient way to transport it to its final destination. Regardless of the quantity of trains available in the area, they haven’t the space needed for such task; additionally, those trucks that do transport these goods, unfortunately keep exploding.
A self-driving truck would definitely ease the pressure of such problem, and a separate road, made especially to transport goods as such, would also help keep all those drivers safe and sound, from accidents running on Rout 83.
The technology used to operate these vehicles, is still somewhat experimental, however it already exists in driverless vehicles. In addition, tests and try-outs for it have ended successfully, therefore concluding that cars that are not driven by a person, could be more efficient.
Freightliner recently announced that the first self-drive rig will arrive to Nebraska, and will be completely legal. It’s important to mention that the whole project isn’t finished entirely, and a driver –human copilot- is still needed to operate and maneuver the vehicle.
Anderson commented that he’s well aware that for some, the idea of a self-driving car is very daunting and somewhat frightening. Nonetheless, he also understands that it helps them correct human mistakes and improve the overall mechanism of the vehicle, turning the roads into a safer place.
Roy Ludwig, mayor of Estevan in Skatchewan, Canada (near the US border), also attended this meeting, and he assured that he greatly believes and has trust in the project. It’s definitely an idea that is worth looking over and into, along with supporting new technologies, and see where they may lead you.
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