While many details remain unconfirmed, CNBC is reporting that Amazon is using self-driving trucks to deliver cargo on public roads. An Amazon-branded truck has been spotted driving on I-10. It’s outfitted with the Embark autonomous driving system.
The story first broke when a Reddit user photographed the truck and shared images of it online. In the image, an Amazon-branded trailer is being pulled by a tractor outfitted with Embark’s self-driving kit.
Unlike some other companies who are developing self-driving trucks, Embark is selling kits which allow existing semis to be outfitted with the hardware needed to turn them into autonomous-capable vehicles.
Embark systems are reportedly only capable of Level 2 autonomy. This allows a vehicle to be controlled by the autonomous system while on highways in favorable conditions. It is very likely there was still a trucker in the driver’s seat.
CNBC says that neither Amazon nor Embark would confirm whether or not they are currently working together.
“Embark moves freight for a number of major companies on the I-10, however we cannot discuss any company specifically as our relationships are confidential,” Embark CEO Alex Rodrigues told CNBC.
Amazon gave a similarly opaque answer.
“We are always innovating and working with innovative companies to improve the customer experience and safety of our team,” said an Amazon spokesperson. “We think successful over-the-road autonomy will create safer roadways and a better work environment for drivers on long-haul runs.”