Freightliner Inspiration: The Self-Driving Semi

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One you get behind one of these 80,000 lb monsters going highway speeds for about 11 hours a day in and out of traffic, the dream of open roads and easy cruising can quickly go out of the window. One industry leader, however, has always set out to make life easier for our economy's life-blood with the launch of the Freightliner Inspiration, the world's first self-driving semi truck. Revealed yesterday in Las Vegas, the Freightliner Inspiration is the culmination of years of hard work, research, and testing, ultimately earning the title as the first legally operated autonomous commercial vehicle allowed to operate on U.S. highways. Instead of inspiring a machine-lead apocalypse, the Freightliner Inspiration is out to reduce accidents, improve fuel efficiency, and reduce traffic congestion using the truck's Highway Pilot sensors and computer hardware along with a series of cameras and radars that work with collision assistance, speed control, braking, and steering systems. Combined, the Freightliner Inspiration introduces "Level 3" automation to trucks for the first time ever. Right now, there are only two Freightliner Inspirations, but more are sure to come following the pilot stage currently underway.