Embark Trucks, a developer of autonomous technology for the trucking industry, is advancing its efforts to develop an emergency vehicle interaction capability for Embark-powered autonomous trucks to identify, stop and interface with law enforcement vehicles.
Embark works closely with the Texas Department of Public Safety to train Embark-powered trucks to identify law enforcement vehicles in situations such as traffic stops, and to develop communication protocols and standard operating procedures between self-driving trucks and law enforcement officers.
Embark plans to publicly demonstrate the capability for emergency vehicle interaction later this summer.
Interaction with emergency vehicles is the next capability identified by Embark in its Technical Capabilities Roadmap, which details the 16 technology achievements needed to deploy autonomous technology in the U.S. Sunbelt, the region that spans the southeastern and southwestern United States.
Embark has already achieved 11 of these milestones, and the ability to interact with emergency vehicles represents the next step towards the commercial deployment of its technology.
Emily Warren, Head of Public Policy at Embark, said, “Our technical roadmap represents a measurable path to commercializing self-driving trucks, and ensuring law enforcement can safely and intuitively interact with trucks. standalone is a “must” for deployment.
“Our work with Texas DPS prioritizes safety as we reach this key technical milestone, and allows us to create a scalable emergency vehicle interaction model that can work across Texas and the U.S. Sunbelt. “
The ability to interact with emergency vehicles is a technical breakthrough with two key elements:
- First, Embark’s engineering team develops the technical functionality of the capability, training Embark-powered trucks to identify emergency vehicle lights and other signals to slow down and stop in safely on the shoulders of the highway in accordance with requests from law enforcement.
- Second, Embark is developing a procedure for interacting with law enforcement input that can allow any law enforcement officer to safely stop, approach, and receive information from an autonomous truck. intuitively and without any additional equipment. This effort may include equipping Embark trucks with clear visual cues and information to alert law enforcement that an Embark-powered truck is a self-driving vehicle and has come to a safe stop without the risk of an unexpected restart .
Embark also plans to equip trucks with a law enforcement-accessible safe containing vehicle and load information such as registration and bills of lading, as well as contact information so law enforcement officers can law enforcement may contact an Embark Guardian operator to verify documentation.
Together, these features represent a comprehensive process for allowing Embark-equipped trucks to comply with law enforcement requests and, in the unlikely event of a traffic stop, pull over to the shoulder of the highway so officers can safely interact with the truck or a Guardian operator.