Self-driving truck? Mercedes has the answer – Future Truck 2025.
Living in the modern times we are now, some things seem like the next logical step. From smart washing machines, making our life more comfortable, to flying cars, or plane that can drive. You choose.
Nothing seemed to be happening in the “shipping world”, until Mercedes released latest truck concept – Future Truck 2025. It looks a little bit fancier than normal trucks driving on the roads now, but the main and huge difference is, that this truck can drive itself!
Instead of headlights, this truck is loaded up with LEDs and it has got cameras instead of side mirrors. Nothing fancy right? Even tough it is a prototype, Mercedes is really serious about spending the next 10 years getting it, and us, ready for its commercial use.
There is no real innovation in autonomous truck. These trucks are already in use in agricultural and military applications. With idea, that humans who drive less cause less trouble, sharing our highway with driverless trucks sound very tempting.
Future Truck 2025, was equipped with the “Highway Pilot” automated system. Dr. Wolfgang Bernhard, the Daimler board member for trucks and buses said: “It never gets tired. It’s always 100% sharp. It’s never angry, it’s ever distracted. So this is a much safer system.”
It might not seem like it, but autonomous highway driving is far easier than navigating in cities, simple as that, there are no pedestrians to watch out for, speeds are steady and turns are minimal. Cameras and radar will make sure, that the position of the truck is kept between lanes all the time. The sensors are very sensible towards all surroundings of the truck and are providing full coverage of the area. One of the big additions in vehicle – vehicle technology is connection of the truck to other cars on the road, providing their exact locations and speeds. It is not necessary for self driving, but it is very helpful for things like moving aside for emergency vehicles or recognizing stopped vehicles ahead.
See for yourself:
This truck from Mercedes was first introduced last month. In their presentation, the driver is no longer driver as we know him now, but he turns in a “transport manager”. His work now will be to get the truck on the highway and join the traffic. At 80km/h (50mph) the driver is asked to activate the Highway Pilot and just relax. He doesn’t even have to check navigation system, as the truck always has the best route available automatically. If it is the time to get off the highway, it flashes a visual alert, that tells the driver to get his hands back on the wheel. If he doesn’t respond within a certain period of time, the truck is able to bring itself to a controlled emergency stop.
If you had a chance to drive this truck, would you try it? Or would you prefer, if there are completely automated cars already on the road?
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