Daimler calls its self-driving big rig a 'short drive for man and a long haul for mankind'

AutoAssociated Press

Its name is "Inspiration" and Daimler Trucks North America LLC says it's the first ever self-driving semi-truck licensed to drive on public roads — in this case Nevada's highways — for not only testing, but business too.

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The truck isn't quite a working reality, though. For one, Daimler isn't taking customer orders just yet.

The company's leaders said Tuesday night after the big rig made its debut atop Hoover Dam that the truck will be a showcase giving potential customers something to play with before Daimler eventually starts production.

Company officials say they have no doubt semi-trucks will be driving themselves, with a driver nearby at the ready, long before passenger cars do the same, although they didn't say when.