The starting point for the test route is Los Angeles, California, and the destination is Jacksonville, Florida. Embark spent five days traveling through the eight states in the southernmost United States.
The highway tested was U.S. 10 Interstate Highway (I-10) with a total length of 2,460 miles and was hailed as "The Way to Paradise" because of the straight road.
Currently, Embark's team is still extracting data about the manual takeover and other aspects of the test, the specific test needs to be released until the data is released. However, according to the drivers involved in the test, most of the tests conducted by this system were done by the autopilot system.
The test also pulled Embark from other competitors. Embark is characterized by,Instead of using high-precision maps in their autopilot systems, they rely entirely on sensor data and on-board machine learning systems.This not only reduces costs, but also saves time for data acquisition on new routes. Embark said the test proved Embark's system to be able to travel safely on the road.
Emark was founded in 2016, both founders graduated from the University of Waterloo, United States, other team members also include employees from Audi's autopilot department.
Embark, later acquired by General Motors, is the incubator of the same period as the well-known incubator YCombinator. From 2016 to 2017, Embark received more than $ 17 million in investment. Among them, in July 2017, Embark won a $ 15 million Series A round of financing and reached an agreement with Peterbilt, a veteran US heavy-truck manufacturer. Peterbilt will be modifying Embark's truck for testing in its Texas plant.
Peterbilt's 579 semitrailer
Embark's initial test truck was a modified Peterbilt 579 semitrailer that initially had two test cars at Embark, up from five four months ago. According to the Embark CEO, by the end of 2018, Embark's test car will increase to 40 vehicles.
In this test, the truck was traveling with the car. Although the car is empty, Embark has long had a history of loading. Beginning last year, Embark began using its autopilot system to transport refrigerators for cross-country maker Electrolux, using autonomous vehicles between Los Angeles and El Paso, Texas.
Emark in cooperation with Electrolux, the picture shows the self-driving truck transporting the refrigerator
Alex Rodrigues, Embark's CEO, said: "We think shipping is one of the best ways to test, and it tells us exactly what we're going to load, let us know how to time and how to load and Uninstalling. This test can make our system more efficient in the real world. "
Embark's current autopilot system is also an L2 autopilot system, which means that drivers need to keep an eye on what happens when vehicles travel on the highway.
In this test, the autopilot system of the truck is activated only on the freeway, and the complicated route from the starting point to the freeway entrance and from the freeway exit to the terminal is done by the driver.
However, Embark's goal is to further develop technology to enable L4 autopilot, allowing vehicles to drive autonomously on select expressways without driver involvement.
Embark believes the L4 autopilot truck will be part of a newly designed cargo system. In the new system, the autopilot system and driver will be handed over at the transfer station on the highway. Rodrigues said Embark is working with state and federal regulators to continue refining the system.
Rodrigues said: "This (L4 self-driving truck) will be our first commercial product and we hope to be available in a few years."
Embark's goal is not to completely replace the driver, but rather to allow drivers to manage long trips, reduce the need for team driving and help solve the market's lack of qualified truck drivers.Truck drivers are still in use, and pilots are required to operate on non-freeway sections, but once their technology is in place, the efficiency of trucking will be significantly improved and travel times will be significantly reduced.
The company, which was founded less than two years ago, also disclosed its 2018 plan. Rodrigues said Embark plans to test the new route in the coming year, while also working to reduce the frequency with which drivers must intervene.