Driverless Tractor-Trailers Making Strides in Texas

In the state of Texas, driverless tractor-trailers are becoming an increasingly common sight on the roads. Companies such as Kodiak Robotics Inc., Aurora Innovation, and Gatik.AI have flocked to Texas to take advantage of its favorable regulations surrounding autonomous vehicles.

These driverless tractor-trailers operate using advanced onboard computers that connect with the steering, accelerator, and brakes, allowing them to function without a human driver present. They are equipped with cameras, radars, and lidar units to scan their surroundings and navigate safely.

According to a recent report by Bloomberg Businessweek, the progress of these companies in Texas has been promising. The driverless trucks are currently being used to transport freight and goods for major companies like FedEx and Kroger.

One of the key reasons why Texas has become a hub for driverless truck testing is the proactive approach taken by state lawmakers. A task force has been established to collaborate with operators and address important issues related to driverless technology, such as roadside inspections and emergency response protocols.

Despite the positive developments, safety concerns still remain. In 2021, US law enforcement reported over half a million collisions involving large trucks, resulting in nearly 5,800 fatalities and 155,000 injuries. However, the report indicates that the testing of driverless trucks in Texas has been relatively incident-free, with fewer than 20 incidents recorded, all of which were caused by drivers of other vehicles.

Currently, the driverless trucks being tested in Texas still have human drivers present in the cabs, with their hands hovering over the steering wheel. However, the report suggests that these companies plan to eliminate the need for human drivers as early as the end of 2024, signaling a significant step towards fully autonomous transportation.

Source: Bloomberg Businessweek.


  • Driverless tractor-trailers: Autonomous vehicles that can operate without a human driver, specifically designed for transporting goods.
  • Lidar: A remote sensing method that uses lasers to measure distances and create detailed maps of surroundings.
  • Freight: Goods or cargo transported by truck.
  • Autonomous: Self-operating or functioning independently.
  • Incidents: In the context of this article, refers to any accidents or collisions involving driverless trucks.