Daimler AG has tested its first-ever self-driving semi-truck on the roads of USA. With this, the company has developed the world’s first autonomous truck to be granted road license in the State of Nevada.
Dr. Wolfgang Bernhard, member of Daimler AG board responsible for Trucks and Buses, and Brian Sandoval, the governor of Nevada, took the drive on U.S. highway 15, as mentioned by Daimler. The truck ran over 10,000 miles before it was granted license.
The truck, which will shift to autonomous mode while on the highway, will be otherwise controlled by the driver. It is equipped with a camera that will mark lanes for the truck, keeping it within lanes. It has a sensor that will be able to scan obstacles within 800 feet. If in any case the truck is not able to handle a specific situation, it will notify the driver using beeps and other sounds. If the driver doesn’t respond, it will slow down in seconds and stop.
Dr. Bernhard said, “The license for road use in the USA marks an important milestone in the story of the autonomous truck.” He added, “Our achievement here underlines yet again our role as a technological pioneer and demonstrates our consistent dedication to develop the technology for autonomous long-distance driving to series production standard.”
The license is for the Freightliner Inspiration Truck. The State of Nevada has provided license to two of those for public operations on the road. Daimler Trucks is the leading truck manufacturer in the world.
It is believed that transportation will be a lot safer in the future with the innovation of self-controlled semi-autonomous trucks. The self-driving semi-truck is going to take away the stress out of truck driving. The amount of accidents along highways involving trucks is quite high, but this truck is believed to cut the number short.
According to Wired, the truck is similar to other passenger vehicles the company is launching nowadays.
The Freightliner Inspiration Truck still needs to be tested a lot, though. For instance, it is still not tested under harsh weather conditions such as rain, snow and extreme heat. It has to run many more miles before it can actually be introduced to the road.