Daimler has succeeded with its subsidiary brand Freightliner to get an MOT approval for an autonomously moving truck. Thus the race around self-steering trucks comes to the next round. But a few futuristic vehicles will not avoid traffic jams.
Daimler tinker further on autonomous trucks. The Group has now received MOT approval for two Freightliner Trucks inspiration in Nevada for road use to test the special trucks in traffic. Now Nevada is not exactly a country with a very high volume of traffic. But it still should be enough to test the practicality of the vehicles in public. For the engineers, who were sitting behind the wheels during the introduction of the trucks, it certainly was an extraordinary feeling.
Environment under control
The Freightliner is equipped with a lot of technology, so that it constantly has its environment in mind. This includes short- and long-range sensors and a stereo camera. The radar unit, consisting of the sensors, according to information from Daimler is the basis of the distance keeping assist and the emergency braking assistant. With a range of about 250 meters and an angle of 18 degrees the long-range sensor detects preceding vehicles in a long and narrow area. The proximity sensor detects a range of about 70 meters and an angle of 130 degrees in another range vehicles that could cut into the lane in front of the autonomous trucks.
The stereo camera, however, is primarily the eye for the steering gear of the Highway Pilot. The range includes around 100 meters, and it has an angle of 45 degrees horizontally and 27 degrees vertically. This way the camera is able to recognize road markings.
Long way to a new transport system
What is currently missing is the networking between vehicles and traffic monitoring systems. Because only with the telematics applications many self-navigating vehicles can be turned into a complex transport system, in which the vehicles can be steered in time so that no major traffic jams occur anymore. Until then it still is a bumpy road to go. Especially in the in the transition phase many manually guided vehicles will still be on the road and bring traffic to a halt. However, many experts believe that in 15 years traffic could be controlled quite differently.
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