Freightliner Inspiration Truck: The First Road Legal Autonomous Truck In The World
|   Wednesday, May 20, 2015
The future is closer than we know. If you think that the idea of an autonomous vehicle is still distant, then you should know that the people at Daimler have taken such a vehicle on the public roads of Nevada. The US is the only country in the world where circulation of autonomous vehicles is permitted.

In 2014, Mercedes-Benz presented the Future Truck 2025 concept, a truck that promised to revolutionize this industry by integrating an autonomous driving mode.
Currently, the Daimler Trucks division from North America introduced the new Freightliner Inspiration, the world's first autonomous truck that is road legal.

When those at Daimler presented the autonomous truck as the Mercedes-Benz Future Truck 2025 concept, it seemed that we needed to wait another 10 years before it will appear on public roads. Therefore, Daimler has "fooled everyone," and put down the competition with the world's first autonomous truck that is licensed to run on public roads. For those who don't know, the Freightliner brand belongs to Daimler AG, the leading brand of trucks in the US.

The new autonomous truck has a Highway Pilot system that allows the driver to take a break, while the system is driving the truck on his own. The Pilot Highway System includes a stereo-camera, working in the range of 100 meters with a horizontal angle of 45 degrees and a vertical angle of 27 degrees, a long-range radar activation (250 meters at 18 degrees) and short-range (70 meters and 130 degrees), and Adaptive Cruise Control system, which are equipped on the Freightliner Cascadia and Mercedes-Benz Actros trucks.

When it is on the highway, the truck driver can activate autonomous regime when he knows it is safe to turn control over to the Highway Pilot system. The system adjusts speed, brakes and steers to maneuver, accelerate or brake in case of need or risk of accident. The truck keeps the speed limit, safe distance to the vehicle in front and can move by itself in traffic jams. However, overtakes, lane changes and exits on the motorway must be executed by the driver who is still more knowledgeable about these actions. Essentially, the driver still remains "the boss" on board the truck, but by activating Highway Pilot, the "boss" can rest or solve logistics problems through a tablet.

In order to test the autonomous Highway Pilot system, Daimler has performed 16,000 kilometers of tests on the ground in Papenburg, Germany, imitating real situations, while the Lane Keeping Assist system that is guided by stereo-camera kept the truck in its lane for over 80,000 kilometers of tests. The front radar first appeared in 2008 (which works with Adaptive Cruise Control) and passed more than 3 million kilometers of tests.

Outside, the autonomous Freightliner Inspiration truck has a futuristic look, thanks to an aerodynamically designed cab and wings above the rear wheels. The tone of the future is played by the optical blocks with blue LEDs. When the truck is running in autonomous mode, the horizontal ironer elements are illuminated with blue LEDs. The interior of the truck is made in the style of a modern living-room, where two vertical displays are installed and on which images of the four cameras are shown.
PHOTO GALLERY
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