Daimler’s first autonomous truck, Freightliner Inspiration is a modified Daimler Freightliner Cascadia Evolution model, with Highway Pilot System. It means that this is an autonomous truck. The system comprises of a front radar and stereo camera with Adaptive Cruise Control+ module, which has been tested for 16,000 kms, but on a test circuit. For the first time, this truck will now be tested on public roads, as the state of Nevada has granted Daimler Trucks the licese to do so; making the Daimler Freightliner Inspiration the first ever truck with an ‘AV’ license plate.
The first licensed autonomous commercial truck to operate on a public highway, Daimler Freightliner Inspiration Truck is developed by engineers at Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) ensuring to reduce accidents, enhance fuel efficiency and curtail highway congestion besides conserving energy and preserving the environment.
It was officially unveiled at the Hoover Dam earlier this week. Selection of Hoover Dam was especially noteworthy for unveiling this truck. Hoover dam was built during the Great Depression, drawing attention to the country’s capabilities to dream big and accomplish much even in the face of adversity.
Freightliner Inspiration offers limited version of autonomy. It takes control exclusively on highways, stays in its lane and maintains safe distance from other vehicles. It will not overtake slower vehicles on its own and in the event of a difficult situation, will instantly alert the driver by beeps and icons on the dashboard to take over. If driver fails to respond within five seconds, the truck gradually comes to a halt.
Being just a test vehicle, Daimler will need to conduct more tests on the Freightliner, cover more miles and put the vehicle to the test under varied weather conditions before it is ready for public use, which could take years.