Embark Trucks
Emark Self Driving Truck

Embark creating way for police to interact with AV trucks

June 2, 2022
The autonomous technology company partners with Texas law enforcement agency to program self-driving trucks to identify emergency lights and communicate with officers.

Embark Trucks is working with a public safety agency to develop an emergency vehicle interaction capability for its autonomous trucks to identify, stop for, and interface with law enforcement vehicles, the company announced.

The self-driving technology provider is working with the Texas Department of Public Safety to program Embark-powered trucks to identify law enforcement vehicles. The two are developing communication protocols and standard operating procedures between autonomous trucks and law enforcement officers for traffic stops and other interactions. Embark plans to demonstrate the emergency vehicle interaction capability later this summer.

Emergency vehicle interaction is the next capability Embark has identified in its technical capabilities roadmap, which details 16 technology accomplishments needed to deploy autonomous technology along the U.S. Sunbelt. Embark said it had reached 11 of these milestones, and the emergency vehicle interaction capability represents the next step toward commercial deployment of its technology.

See also: Torc taps Penske to service autonomous trucking test fleet

“Our technical roadmap represents a measurable path to commercialization of autonomous trucks, and making sure law enforcement can safely and intuitively interact with autonomous trucks is a ‘must’ for deployment,” said Emily Warren, head of public policy at Embark. “Our work with Texas DPS prioritizes safety as we achieve this key technical milestone and enables us to create a scalable emergency vehicle interaction model that can work across Texas and the U.S. Sunbelt.”

The emergency vehicle interaction capability includes these components:

  • Embark is building the ability to train Embark-powered trucks to identify emergency vehicle lights and other cues to slow down and pull over safely onto highway shoulders.
  • Embark is developing an interaction procedure with input from law enforcement to enable an officer to safely stop, approach, and receive information from an autonomous truck without any additional equipment. This effort might include outfitting Embark trucks with clear visual cues and information to signal to law enforcement personnel that an Embark-powered truck is an autonomous vehicle and has come to a safe stop with no risk of restarting unexpectedly. 
    • Embark also plans to outfit trucks with a lockbox accessible to law enforcement containing vehicle and load information such as registration and bills of lading and contact information so that law enforcement officers can reach an Embark Guardian operator to verify documentation.
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