Starsky Robotics Self-Driving Truck Solves Last-Mile Delivery
Starsky Robotics is the second self-driving truck startup to come out of the woodwork in less than one week, but it's approach is unlike any self-driving truck we've seen to date.
Starsky Robotics is the second self-driving truck startup to come out of the woodwork in less than one week, but it’s approach is unlike any self-driving truck we’ve seen to date.
California-based Starsky Robotics, which has been in stealth mode for a year and a half, uses software, radar, and computer vision to build self-driving trucks that drive themselves on highways. Here’s where the solution gets creative. Once the self-driving truck reaches its exit on the highway, the system then uses remote control driving, from a “trained driver” at another location, to bring the truck to its final destination.
The remote drivers would also pilot the self-driving trucks from distributions centers to highways, the company says. By building out self-driving technology and putting remote truckers in offices, Starsky says will “make roads safer and give drivers jobs close to home.” Starsky says it expects to remove some human drivers from vehicles by the end of 2017.
Check out the GIF below that shows the remote control driving aspect of Starsky’s approach in action.
Starsky has also taken a unique approach by building an aftermarket retrofit kit that includes robotics controls that push the pedals, turn the steering wheel, and change gears. And the system has already completed a delivery, moving freight about 120 miles on a highway where it drove autonomously 85 percent of the time.
Just last week another self-driving truck startup, San Mateo, Calif.-based Embark, unveiled its technology for the first time. Embark’s self-driving truck uses a combination of radars, cameras and LiDARs. The data the trucks collect is then processed by deep neural networks (DNNs) to allow the truck to learn from its experiences. Once they enter city limits, Embark’s self-driving trucks hand control over the the human driver to drive through the city streets to the final destination.
Otto is the most well-known self-driving truck company. Otto was founded by former Google car and map veterans Anthony Levandowski and Lior Ron and was acquired by Uber in August 2016 for $680 million.