An Autonomous Vehicle in Four Hours

Manufacturers have developed a self-driving vehicle that can be assembled in four hours.


As the self-driving future continues to unfold, a U.K. company has released a new delivery van that not only supports autonomous operation, but also can be manufactured in under four hours. The company is staying mum on the details of production, only to say the vehicle, dubbed the "Charge," calls for a modular part design that allows 10 people in two shifts daily to assemble up to 10,000 trucks a year, according to an article posted on Interesting Engineering.

In addition to its unique production, the Charge’s advanced design taps ultra lightweight composite materials to cut back on the vehicle weight, reducing operating costs for the van over 50 percent, the article said. The trucks, which range in size from 3.5 tons to 26 tons, are said to produce zero emission for the first 100 miles. Once the battery is recharged, the trucks can go longer distances, up to 500 miles.

Uber’s Otto startup is also steering a course into the self-driving lane. It recently completed a 120-mile delivery route, shuttiling 50,000 cans of Budweiser beer around in Colorado, using autonomous operation on the highway while a driver took control when the vehicle entered city limits.

Whether it’s a truck or car really makes no difference to me. The bigger question is are we ready for a self-driving future? 

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