The world’s first autonomous truck licensed to drive on public roads has been launched in the US by Daimler: the Freightliner Inspiration Truck.
Back in July 2014, Daimler Trucks provided the world’s first demonstration of an autonomous truck in action when the Mercedes-Benz Future Truck 2025 drove along a cordoned-off section of an autobahn. According to Daimler, the Inspiration Truck is the next milestone on the road to series production of its Highway Pilot system.
Highway Pilot is the only system in the world to feature the kind of sensor and camera technology that makes operation of the Freightliner Inspiration Truck possible – from initial acceleration to the speed limit for trucks.
There’s a visible dimension to the Inspiration Truck, too. Its eye-catching exterior lighting features a licence plate, indicators and the radiator grille that light up blue as soon as the vehicle is in autonomous mode. In standard operation, these areas are white and yellow.
How the Inspiration Truck works
The Adaptive Cruise Control fitted to the Inspiration Truck uses the same hardware and software as the series production variants of the Mercedes-Benz Actros and Freightliner Cascadia Evolution. Its active power steering system uses the same hardware as the production vehicles, albeit with modified software.