Embark, a San Francisco start-up, completed a coast-to-coast test drive of its autonomous semi-truck, the company announced on Tuesday. It drove from Los Angeles to Jacksonville, Florida, in the test drive, covering around 2,400 miles without relying on a human driver on the freeway.
According to co-founder and CEO Alex Rodrigues, Embark has already integrated its self-driving systems into 5 trucks. It doesn't manufacture its own vehicles, but instead created a self-driving system that can be integrated into Peterbilt, and possibly other vehicles. Embark plans to acquire 40 more semis within the year for further testing and long-haul deliveries.
Unlike other tech ventures working on self-driving vehicles, including Alphabet's Waymo and General Motors' Cruise, Embark uses machine learning software and data from the sensors on-board its trucks to map its surroundings in real-time and avoid obstacles. Others "pre-map" their routes, and use data from the sensors on-board to augment their maps.