We’ve heard of self-driving cars, but what about self-driving trucks? You might recall that over the years, Daimler has been working on a self-driving truck where the goal is to have the trucks drive themselves which in turn would allow the drivers to rest, catch up on some sleep, and ultimately reduce the amount of accidents caused by truck drivers who have been driving for days on end trying to make deadlines.
The good news is that it looks like that future is here, sort of, as the Daimler Freightliner Inspiration has officially hit the road, making it the world’s first self-driving semi-truck. The truck is based on the regular 18-wheeler sold by Daimler around the world, with the main difference being that this particular model has been given a hi-tech makeover that allows it to drive itself.
The truck has the ability to drive itself and it will be a cautious driver too. For example when encountering situations it can’t handle, it will beep and alert the driver that perhaps it’s time for them to take over. If the driver does not respond, say they’re asleep, then the truck will slow down gradually before coming to a stop.
The truck will also be outfitted with stereoscopic cameras that helps to read lane lines, and will also be equipped with short and long range radar that scans the roads for obstacles in front of it, up to 800 feet. The Freightliner Inspiration is currently still considered a test vehicle, but Daimler feels that it’s safe enough for public roads with the Nevada DMV agreeing as well.
However there are still plenty of tests that need to be done, not to mention various regulatory hurdles, all of which are expected to take another decade or so before the truck becomes available for the public to purchase, but it looks like we’re well on our way.
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