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Daimler unveils an amazing self-driving truck!

By Rediff Business Desk
October 10, 2014 08:07 IST
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After Google’s driverless car, Daimler has unveiled a self driving truck, that can operate without drivers on highways.

The truck is equipped with the extremely intelligent 'Highway Pilot' assistance system, which enables it to drive autonomously at speeds of up to 85 km/hr. 

Called 'Mercedes-Benz Future Truck 2025', “The Future Truck 2025 is our response to the major challenges and opportunities associated with road freight transport in the future,” said Wolfgang Bernhard, member of Daimler’s Board.

Daimler says the truck ensures an accident-free ride.

Radar sensors and camera technology enable the Future Truck to drive autonomously, independently of other vehicles or central control stations. 

Its technical features are thus crucial in giving the Mercedes-Benz Future Truck 2025 its outstanding capabilities as an autonomous vehicle.

The truck which uses the highly intelligent "Highway Pilot" system resembles the autopilot on an aircraft. 

A radar sensor in the lower area of the front end scans the road ahead at long and short range. The front radar sensor has a range of 250 m and scans an 18-degree segment, states Daimler.

The short-range sensor has a range of 70 m and scans a 130-degree segment. The radar sensor is the basis for the proximity control and emergency braking safety systems already available today.

A stereo camera installed above the instrument support behind the windscreen keeps the area ahead of the vehicle in view.

This is currently the location of a mono-camera if optional Lane Keeping Assist is ordered.

The range of the stereo camera is 100 m, and it scans an area of 45 degrees horizontally and 27 degrees vertically.

The stereo camera of the Mercedes-Benz Future Truck 2025 identifies single- or two-lane roads, pedestrians, moving and stationary objects, all objects within the monitored area and also the road surface.

The camera recognises everything that contrasts with the background, and is therefore also able to measure clearances precisely. The front stereo camera also registers the information on traffic signs. 

Blind Spot Assist warns the truck driver about other road users not only when turning; it also warns about imminent collisions with stationary obstacles – for example signs or lamps – and serves as an assistance system when changing lane. 

Autonomous driving relieves the driver of "having to" drive, especially on tiring and often monotonous long-distance routes.

The truck regulates its own speed and automatically finds the best route using a navigation app.

The transport company, dispatcher and goods recipient are constantly informed about the location, route and expected time of arrival in real time, so the driver is relieved of time pressure. 

Fuel consumption and emissions are significantly reduced during autonomous driving, says Daimler.

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