Forbes - - TECHNOLOGY - Forbes

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 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.

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