If you’re apprehensive about sharing the road with a self-driving car then what you’re about to read next might not sit well with you. It turns out that in the future you might find yourself sharing the road with a full-fledged truck that drives on its own. Germany’s Daimler has demonstrated a self-driving truck it calls the Mercedes-Benz Future Truck 2025, this is the year in which it expects to have the truck out in the commercial market.
Daimler offered spectators a demonstration of its self-driving truck at a stretch of the A14 autobahn near Magdeburg in eastern Germany. The group says that this truck is capable of responding to traffic accordingly while driving on its own at speeds of up to 52 miles per hour.
For now there are regulatory and legal hoops that must be cleared before the self-driving truck can take to the roads. Only one prototype exists right now and Daimler has declined to reveal for how much it will sell when it ultimately hits the market.
The eight-lane stretch had about 20 other cars on it to simulate realistic driving conditions, obviously the demonstration was conducted in a cordoned off area. It responded to cars slowing down in front accordingly and even moved over to let a fast-moving emergency vehicle pass. As a safety measure the steering wheel has not been taken away as its needed to allow the driver to intervene in critical moments.
Google recently showed off its autonomous car concept which does away with steering wheel completely. While that may not be practical for trucks that are primarily meant for highways and freeways, this does goes to show that conventional auto manufacturers are no longer apprehensive of self-driving technology. Evidently they’re embracing it.