FLORIDA – According to the associated press, Florida’s first self-driving car will not be a glamorous sports car or an ultramodern vehicle produced by one of the global tech giants, but will instead be a modest roadside construction truck that is “meant to be hit.” 

The nation’s highways are a key part of its infrastructure. Roadside construction crews, specifically “roving construction crews,” are often the workhorses behind the maintenance and safety of our highways. These individuals work day and night to pave roads, paint lines, inspect bridges, install traffic signals and perform other tasks necessary for the upkeep of our nation’s highways.
While roving construction crews are literally working the night away to ultimately improve highway safety for us, “crash trucks”—the barrier-surrounded and strobe-light-equipped vehicles that follow the roving construction crews as they work—are providing highway safety for them. 
Crash trucks are designed to act as a safety barrier between roving construction crews and traffic zipping dangerously close past them. Unfortunately, drivers of these trucks are still in harm’s way, even as their vehicles serve as a shield to prevent traffic from hitting exposed road workers. However, a pilot program in Florida hopes to change that by utilizing driverless crash trucks, which take the person out of the truck that is “meant to be hit.”
It’s all being made possible with the introduction of a military-like technology where a lead truck beams information to the driverless crash truck in order to direct its movement. In a recent demonstration, the pilot program gained even more support after the driverless truck perfectly mimicked the lead truck’s movement, speed and braking. 
While the manufacturer of the driverless truck and the Florida Department of Transportation are still working out the details, the pilot program is expected to unveil two driverless crash trucks by the end of the year.


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