Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval and Daimler Chairman Wolfgang Bernhard sat in the cockpit (since calling it a driver’s seat is technically wrong) and rode off in the world’s first fully autonomous freight truck christened the “Inspiration Truck.” The freightliner won’t need any human assistance and can self-drive on the busy American highways all by itself.
To prove the unmanned truck is legitimate and not some experiment to prove that trucks, too, can run by themselves, an Autonomous Vehicle license plate was ceremoniously bolted on the truck and many onlookers have since confirmed that the driverless truck has already started plying on the roads.
Unveiled at the iconic Hoover dam, the Inspiration Truck is the brainchild of Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) and is the first licensed autonomous commercial truck to operate on an open public highway in the United States. The company is confident that these autonomous trucks will significantly improve fuel consumption, reduce accidents, cut highway congestion, and ultimately offer a greener alternative to freighting. Speaking about the historic event, Dr. Wolfgang Bernhard, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG Daimler Trucks & Buses talked more about the driverless truck.
“Putting the Freightliner Inspiration Truck on the road is an historic day for Daimler Trucks and the North American trucking industry. Our team has done a marvelous job in bringing this breakthrough technology to the road.”
Needless to add, the Freightliner Inspiration Truck had to undergo extensive and stringent testing before the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles granted it a license to operate on public roads in the state. From a technological perspective, the truck is equipped with the best of auto-navigational tools, but the DMV wanted assurance of the road-worthiness of the truck. Additionally, the truck had to prove it was reliable and would perform on a road that is filled with less-than-cordial drivers.
Fortunately, owing to the innovations already deployed on the highways, the Freightliner Inspiration Truck can handle any traffic. It is equipped with the Highway Pilot sensors, which in turn is linked to a sophisticated array of cameras with depth-perception and radar systems. The truck boasts of features like algorithm-based lane stability, smart collision avoidance, autonomous speed control, smart braking, intelligent steering, and other always-on monitoring systems.
Now that autonomous trucks have gained their legal license to ply on the roads, when will passenger vehicles gain such status?
[Image Credit | Daimler]