A driverless truck fitted with an energy-absorbing crash barrier to protect construction workers from oncoming traffic will be deployed as part of a pilot program in Florida, the Associated Press reported.
The trucks, manufactured by Royal Truck & Equipment Inc. in Coopersburg, Pennsylvania, are designed to function without drivers who are “literally waiting to be struck,” Royal President Robert Roy told AP.
“Any time a driver can be removed from these vehicles in a very dangerous situation, and if the vehicle's struck, there's nobody inside of it to receive the damage or the injuries, that's measuring success,” Roy said.
Two of the autonomous trucks will be used in Florida as part of a demonstration program under the state Department of Transportation.
To develop the trucks, Royal worked with Fort Walton, Florida-based Micro Systems Inc., which supplies unmanned vehicles to the military.