In front of Daimler executives, yesterday Mercedes-Benz demonstrated its 40-tonne heavy Future Truck 2025 prototype – another step towards the self-driving goal.
While the top brass at Daimler looked upon the heavy goods vehicle, its driver, middle-aged trucker Hans Luft was overtly playing with his iPad, with the prototype handling the driving on a closed-off stretch of the A14 near Magdeburg, Germany.
“The drive was relaxing,” Luft told the press. “Autonomous driving will revolutionize road freight transport and create major benefits,” added Daimler Trucks chief Wolfgang Bernhard. “We aim to be the number one manufacturer in this market of the future which we believe will offer solid revenue and earnings potential.”
The global leader of the trucking industry is moving towards a future where the self-driving technology could bring millions in fuel saves and wage costs – even as the professional trucking industry could become a major hurdle on the long run.
The prototype, with its name suggesting the maker intends to put into sales by 2025, is clad with aerodynamic fins and makes use of a radar that sees the road ahead by 250 meters. It’s also using already available technology – like integrating the onboard sensors to the automatic braking, stability control and lane-warning systems.