A new company called Otto is planning to build self-driving systems for long haul trucks. The company is founded by a highly professional experts including former members of Google’s car team.

As we all know, every year thousands of people die in truck accidents, so the company has a very tough challenge of producing a safer self-driving truck than the human driven ones. Otto started out with tools to help truck drivers perform their job with increased safety, but now it is working on technology that, in time, can automate parts of the drive on highways.

The company said it has already completed one public highway demo of its system, and it is hatching grander plans beyond that.

 The founders noted that manufacturers’ systems would require all-new trucks, unlike Otto, which could be retrofitted.
“If you need to replace all of your trucks to get the technology on it, the rate of penetration you’ll be able to have is pretty low. Trucks last ten years, a million miles.”