A small fleet of self-driving trucks has successfully and safely completed a week-long tour of Europe. The group of a dozen trucks from manufacturers such as Daimler, Volvo, and Volkswagen, platooned across much of Western Europe, touring countries such as Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, and Germany, before finishing their trip back to Rotterdam in the Netherlands. Platooning is when vehicles, linked by Wi-Fi follow the lead of the leader, which each successive vehicle following in close succession. (Think momma ducks and a string of cute little baby ducks coming up behind.) With this technique, the lead vehicle is the only computer than needs to make the bulk of the decisions about navigation and such, while the ones that come behind follow its lead.
As Katie Collins at CNET writes: "The trucks might not be cute like the autonomous pod cars Google is testing, but they are very much a precursor to the self-driving personal vehicles that individuals will own. The findings from the truck experimentation will trickle down to affect how everyone uses roads in the future."
Read Collins' full story at CNET.