Someone leaked images from Google's self-driving vehicle division Waymo to Jalopnik, and they show Peterbilt tractor-trailers. Google announced earlier this month that it's working on long-haul autonomous carriers. It really might not be long before driverless vehicles are delivering goods across the country.
Long-haul trucking is a likely and obvious place for autonomous vehicles to take hold before they become common as passenger vehicles. The fact that the vehicles tend to be fleet owned, centrally monitored, and used for long highway stretches makes them ideal early adopters.
While many speculate this will cause a lot of job loss for truckers, I suspect there will remain a need to have a human ‘minder’ in the truck to act as a backup and to handle communications, security, refueling, and other duties, at least initially.
It would be nice for truck drivers to be able to sleep on the way, but most professional drivers I know would have a problem not being in control, so it will probably be a new generation of 'minders' assigned to these trucks. Initially. Eventually, the trucks be able to fuel themselves. Read what information can be gleaned from the pictures at Jalopnik.