Some day in the next few years, if you’re on the right stretch of highway in America’s Sunbelt, you are likely to have the disconcerting experience of pulling alongside a fully loaded semi truck, glancing at the cab, and seeing no one behind the wheel at all.

Unless you look closely, the truck you’re likely to see will look very much like a regular big rig. It will still have a steering wheel—twitching, as if moved by ghostly hands. It will also have those oversize rearview mirrors trucks have, only these will be even more exaggerated in scale, since they will double as mounts for sensors—including radar, lidar, and cameras—that help the truck see things even an experienced human driver might miss.



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