Over here in the US, companies like Google have come up with self-driving cars, relying on an array of sensors equipped on the vehicle itself alongside a decent GPS navigation system and the right mapping tools, to make sure it does not run into a ditch despite the map saying that it is a through road. Well, folks over at Japan do seem to go one up on us Stateside, with Japanese researchers already performing tests on self-driving trucks, which is said to be able to help lower fuel consumption in large vehicles when perfected.
The New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization performed these tests at its facility in Tsukuba City, north of Tokyo, where a quartet of trucks that traveled as a convoy in a straight line managed to cover a 3-kilometer course. The first, was of course, human-driven, while the remaining three were computer controlled, maintaining a constant distance of 4 meters apart while traveling at a speed of 80 kilometers per hour. There were ample cameras and radars mounted on the trucks so that they can avoid any obstacles that they come across. It is predicted that the short distances between vehicles will help contribute to lower air resistance, helping lower fuel consumption by over 15%, now how about that?