First Licensed Autonomous Commercial Truck 5/12/2015

On Tuesday May 5, 2015 Daimler Trucks North America introduced its new autonomous Freightliner Inspiration Truck and announced that the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles granted it a license to operate on public roads in the state.  This makes The Freightliner Inspiration Truck the first licensed autonomous commercial truck to operate on an open public highway in the United States.

What does autonomous really mean?

The Freightliner Inspiration Truck allows the driver to safely take their hands off the wheel and remove his or her feet away from the pedals and the truck will maintain its speed and lane position without the driver needing to do anything. However, Nevada’s restrictions require the driver to remain at the controls at all times and to have a second driver in the passenger seat.

Autonomous does not mean the cabin of the Truck will be empty. Dr. Wolfgang Bernhard, head of Daimler Trucks & Buses explains that “the driver still monitors and is in charge of what happens, the system is much easier for him, is much less fatiguing, and makes his life and his job much more attractive.”

What are the possible benefits?

According to Daimler the technology has the potential to:

  • Reduce accidents
  • Improve fuel consumption
  • Cut highway congestion

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