Now, a startup from California is aiming to use intercity rail networks more efficiently by developing self-driving, electric haulers.
Any two vehicles can transport a shipping container for up to 800 km on a single charge. Huge rail terminals could be replaced with micro terminals, built closer to the containers’ destination.
This will save space and time. If required, autonomous modules can self-assemble to form platoons.
Built-in cameras, meanwhile, monitor the system and detect potential hazards. In emergencies a braking system is activated, which is 10 times quicker than traditional freight trains.
A prototype is currently being tested on a track near LA.
And it’s not just railways promoting self-sufficient innovation.