This Startup’s Robotic Truck Drove On The Highway With No Human On Board
Even amid significant safety concerns, there remain many players in the driverless-vehicle game backed by big names and big money. One with a large payload of promise is one of the smallest: San Francisco-based Starsky Robotics. Founded by Forbes Under 30 alumni Stefan Seltz-Axmacher and Kartik Tiwari, Starsky is focused on developing the ability for 18-wheelers to cruise autonomously on highways (albeit via remote control for the first and last legs of the journey).
The company has raised $21 million, a trifle compared to Alphabet’s Waymo, maybe, but Starsky was recently the first company to pass a major milestone: several miles of (closed) highway travel with no human aboard, during which engineers troubleshot problems both anticipated and not. When the truck’s control center unexpectedly lost power, the vehicle noted the connectivity break and rolled slowly to a gentle stop. Not quite ready for the long haul, perhaps, but the on-ramp is certainly in sight.