Mercedes-Benz tests high-tech self driven truck

07 Jul 2014


Cars that will drive people to work may be only a few years away, but what has been largely forgotten about the development is what impact it would have on other road transport segments such as freight distribution.

As part of the Mercedes-Benz Future Truck 2025 program, Daimler Trucks says it has carried out a trial run of one of its high-tech autonomous trucks on a section of the A14 autobahn near Magdeburg, Germany.

According to the company, the vehicle drove itself in "completely realistic driving situations" in the presence of the media, government officials, business representatives, market analysts, and investors.

According to a study commissioned by Daimler showed between 2008 and 2025 the EU would see a 20 per cent increase in freight traffic, with trucks carrying 70 per cent of road freight. 

Fuel prices and road tolls would increase during this time with government regulations increasing while experienced drivers would command a premium.

According to Daimler the key to the future was in cutting costs through autonomous systems, such as the Future Truck 2025, which aimed to roll out safer, greener, and more efficient robotic trucks that were also more attractive to prospective drivers.

At the core of Future Truck 2025 is Daimler's Highway Pilot system, an autonomous driving system designed for production vehicles.

Based on Mercedes Benz's previous work on driver assist and autonomous systems for upmarket passenger cars, it allowed the operation of trucks with complete autonomy on public roads at speeds up to 53 mph (85 km/h).

According to German media reports, the test drive saw the 18-wheeler barrel down the Autobahn covering about three miles, even as the driver surfed the internet for food recipes on tablet computer.

The message of the prototype ''Future Truck 2025,'' the first self-driven freight vehicle, according to Mercedes was all about eliminating human error, however illogical it might seem today.

Future Truck was also envisioned to talk with other vehicles and connect to increased sources of online information as Big Data ballooned on the road.

According to Mercedes, the computerised controls would also make it more fuel efficient.

According to Mercedes once the truck merged into traffic it would not accelerate to breakneck Autobahn speeds, rather the system would throttle it to 50 mph.

Many of the component parts to put a vehicle of the kind into production were already available in trucks on the market - systems that helped drivers keep their distance from other drivers, active braking assistance, guidance and mapping systems, as also fine-tuned cruise control and also other hi-tech stuff.

Business History Videos

History of hovercraft Part 3...

Today I shall talk a bit more about the military plans for ...

By Kiron Kasbekar | Presenter: Kiron Kasbekar

History of hovercraft Part 2...

In this episode of our history of hovercraft, we shall exam...

By Kiron Kasbekar | Presenter: Kiron Kasbekar

History of Hovercraft Part 1...

If you’ve been a James Bond movie fan, you may recall seein...

By Kiron Kasbekar | Presenter: Kiron Kasbekar

History of Trams in India | ...

The video I am presenting to you is based on a script writt...

By Aniket Gupta | Presenter: Sheetal Gaikwad

view more