Are There Self-Driving Pickup Trucks?

“Self-driving” has become the new buzzword in the automotive world. Tesla is leading the charge, and that technology seems to be struggling with often grave consequences. So, fully self-driving cars are still pretty far off. But why don’t we hear more about self-driving pickup trucks? Do they make self-driving pickup trucks? Let’s get into it. 

Blue 2022 Rivian R1T electric pickup truck
2022 Rivian R1T | Rivian

Are there any self-driving pickup trucks? 

I think it’s fair to say at this point that pickup trucks have fully evolved to be the most useful automobiles on the road. Back in the day, driving a pickup truck meant you sacrificed nearly every creature comfort. 

These days, pickup trucks have more technology in them than any other segment. Trucks have all the same comfort features that cars or SUVs have; backup cameras, leather seats, adaptive cruise control, plenty of space, and nearly anything else you can think of. Plus, pickup trucks like the Ford F-150 now have bed and towing scales, as well as built-in power generators. 

The modern feature we don’t hear about for pickup trucks that often is self-driving pickup trucks. Even though we may hear about them as much, they do exist. In fact, the truck world is lousy with semi-autonomous driving tech. 

What are the top 5 best self-driving pickup trucks? 

The 2022 Toyota Tacoma is a mid-size truck with serious capability and features.
2022 Toyota Tacoma | Toyota
  • 2022 Toyota Tacoma: The Tacoma isn’t typically on a list with new technology, but the Tundra and Tacoma both just got a huge update. Now the Tacoma comes with adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and a lane-departure warning. 
  • 2022 Ford Ranger: The Ranger isn’t quite as “autonomous” as the Toyota, but the Ranger does come with forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking as standard. 
  • 2022 Ram 1500: The Ram 1500 has been considered the best pickup truck on the market for the past few years. Along with its newfound popularity and the finest cabin of any pickup truck, it also has plenty of fancy driver aids like automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assistance, and even a partially automated parking system that spins the steering wheel for you to navigate into a space.
  • 2022 Rivian R1T: Rivian gave the R1T everything. Hell, not only was this the first electric pickup truck on the market, but it comes with a full kitchen. If it’s got a kitchen, you know it’s got some other stuff too. According to Autobytel.com, the R1T comes standard with a suite of self-driving tools called Driver+. This includes every self-driving pickup truck feature there is. 
  • 2022 Chevy Silverado 1500: The last of our top 5 pickup trucks with self-driving features is one of the most classic pickup trucks on earth. You might not think the Silverado would care for such new-fangled technology, but it does. GM has something called the Super Crusie system that focuses on an advanced version of adaptive cruise control. This is one of the more advanced systems on the market today. 

Are self-driving features worth it? 

The 2022 Ram 1500 Crew Cab is a safe truck
The 2022 Ram 1500 Crew Cab truck parked in a driveway | Ram

Many of these “self-driving” or automated features are great additions to help keep drivers safer. However, I think the reason we don’t hear about self-driving pickup trucks as often is that the segment tends to be more hands-on. Most people aren’t interested in self-driving motorcycles or sports cars either. Why? Driving these kinds of vehicles is kind of the point of owning them. 

Granted, pickup trucks are pretty different. However, I still believe most truck owners buy pickup trucks becuase they want to drive them. There is often a purpose to pickup truck ownership. Regardless of what anyone thinks about the segment, it’s changing quickly. What was once an automotive segment that represented “back in my day” is now a quickly moving tech hub that may be the key to true electric car adoption in America. How about that.

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