No driver needed: Self-driving trucks are starting to move cargo on the nation’s highways

No driver likes being stuck between two trucks barreling down the highway — especially when one of those trucks is driving itself.

That’s not likely to happen anytime soon. But that’s only because autonomous vehicles being put on the roads are set up to follow one another too closely for any driver to nudge their way in, said Cetin Mericli, co-founder and CEO of trucking technology company Locomation.

Based on the North Side, Locomation is bringing its self-driving trucks off the test track and onto the highway this spring. The company recently announced a partnership with transportation logistics company Wilson Logistics to move cargo on autonomous trucks more than 400 miles between Oregon and Idaho.

To get self-driving trucks on the highway, Locomation uses a convoy system. One truck — driven by a human — will lead, guiding the trailing autonomous truck down the highway and helping it to stay between the lines, navigate lane changes and avoid other cars.