Daimler Trucks Invests Half A Billion Euros In Highly Automated Trucks

Daimler Trucks will invest EUR 500 million (around 570 million USD) over the next years and create more than 200 new jobs in its global push to bring highly automated trucks (SAE level 4) to the road within a decade, German company announced at CES 2019.

Freightliner-Cascadia

Highly automated driving is characterized as automated travel in defined areas and between defined hubs without any expectation of the system that a user will respond to a request to intervene. In commercial trucking, level 4 is the natural next step after level 2, increasing efficiency and productivity for customers, cutting costs per mile significantly.

The new Freightliner Cascadia offers partially automated driving features (level 2), making it the first-ever partially automated series production truck on North American roads. It also made its world premiere during the presentation of Daimler Trucks at CES.

Daimler Trucks has been a pioneer of automated truck development for years. In 2014, the world’s leading truck manufacturer presented the Mercedes-Benz Future Truck 2025, the world’s first automated truck, and was the first to demonstrate the technological opportunities and great potential that automated trucks have for the economy and society.

Level 2 automated driving now a reality in the new Freightliner Cascadia

With Active Drive Assist (Mercedes-Benz Actros, FUSO Super Great) and Detroit Assurance 5.0 with Active Lane Assist (Freightliner new Cascadia), Daimler Trucks is already bringing partially automated driving features into series production. The new system can independently brake, accelerate and steer. Unlike systems that only work above a certain speed,

Daimler Trucks reassessing the benefits of platooning

Moving forward with its innovation roadmap, Daimler Trucks is reassessing its view on platooning. Daimler Trucks defines platooning as the electronic coupling of two or more trucks with significantly reduced distance between them to, in theory, improve aerodynamics and therefore save fuel. Daimler Trucks has tested platooning for several years, especially in the U.S., where benefits would be expected to be the most substantial. Results show that fuel savings, even in perfect platooning conditions, are less than expected and that those savings are further diminished when the platoon gets disconnected and the trucks must accelerate to reconnect.

Level 4 automated driving improves safety, efficiency and competitiveness

Highly automated trucks (level 4) offer enormous advantages in many areas. In today’s society, there is a growing desire for safer roads and more sustainable transport solutions – and level 4 trucks can considerably contribute to that. They enhance safety in traffic thanks to a redundancy of systems and a multitude of sensors and systems that never get tired or lose attention – because today, a great majority of accidents are still due to human error. Level 4 highly automated trucks also improve efficiency and productivity, among other things, through higher utilization of the vehicles – practically around the clock.

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