The Hoover Dam was the site of Freightliner’s grand unveiling of their new driverless autonomous commercial vehicle. Freightliner, owned by Daimler, was given a license plate for their self driving vehicle by the state of Nevada.
There was no mention of how much the autonomous semi would run or when it might be available. It will probably be at least a few more years until it is available for purchase. There’s still much testing to be done to make sure that their autonomous vehicle is road-worthy.
While the vehicle will be able to drive itself without intervention for hundreds of miles, it is only being given a level 3 NHTSA rating. This means that you won’t see them driving down the road without a driver in the cabin any time soon. NHTSA level 3 means that a driver will still need to accompany the vehicle and be able to takeover should something go wrong.
According to tests run by Paul Mathieson, drivers are 25% less drowsy when they operate an autonomous vehicle. Sleepy drivers account for many accidents on the road every year so anything that can be done to keep drivers alert will help to save lives.