Mercedes-Benz tested the alertness of the driver in the truck cab in conventional trucks and in a self-propelled vehicle. The drivers who were traveling with the autonomous system Highway pilot turned out to be more attentive.
The driver as a transport manager. Gone are the days when drivers actually had to drive. When it comes to commercial vehicle manufacturers, then the driver will soon be a pilot, which controls whether the vehicle is correctly moving. A comparison with an airplane pilot is obvious. Because the autopilot also only takes over control of the aircraft during the journey. That situation will be the same with truck drivers. In many future scenarios the truck driver is still responsible for the vehicle. He steers the vehicle. In a first step likely the truck is only allowed to drive itself on the highway anyway. Then, however, he has time to even to take on more tasks. There are already voices in the industry who would like to leave dispatching to the driver. For telematics applications that would mean that these will be challenged a lot more. Because then the amount of data increases again and other interfaces are needed.
The start has been made. Mercedes-Benz wanted to know how the possible practice affects the driver. Therefore, the company has set up a test with 16 drivers, driving for four hours without a break, some of them driving a truck with Highway pilot, others driving two different conventional trucks. For the experiment, the scientists wired the drivers to monitor the brain waves and heart rates. The combination allows to measure the attention of drivers.
According to the results of Mercedes-Benz truck drivers are more aware and thus more powerful if they can perform other tasks while driving. The manufacturer detected by measuring the brain waves that the driver’s fatiguing is reduced by 25 percent when the truck is in autonomous mode and the driver can focus on other tasks than driving.
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