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Freightliner’s ‘Inspiration’ is world’s first autonomous truck licensed for road use

The Highway Pilot system of the Freightliner Inspiration Truck uses a complex stereo camera and radar systems with lane-keeping and collision-prevention functions

autonomous truck
The Highway Pilot system uses a complex stereo camera and radar systems with lane-keeping and collision-prevention functions. It regulates the speed, applies the brakes and steers. The driver can deactivate the Highway Pilot manually and is able to override the system at any time.

Last year Daimler Trucks provided the world’s first demonstration of an autonomous truck in action when the Mercedes-Benz Future Truck 2025 drove along a cordoned-off section of the A14 autobahn near Magdeburg, Germany.

The Freightliner Inspiration is Daimler’s latest milestone, as it features the company’s Highway Pilot system modified and adapted for the US. The result – the State of Nevada certified no less than two Freightliner Inspiration Trucks for regular operations on public roads.

The truck automatically complies with posted speed limits

The Highway Pilot system uses a complex stereo camera and radar systems with lane-keeping and collision-prevention functions. It regulates the speed, applies the brakes and steers. This combination of systems creates an autonomous vehicle that can operate safely under a wide range of driving conditions – the truck automatically complies with posted speed limits, regu­lates the distance from the vehicle ahead or uses the stop-and-go function during rush hour.

The Highway Pilot system does not initiate autonomous passing manoeuvres, as these have to be executed by the driver. The same applies for leaving the highway and changing lanes. Via the user interface the Highway Pilot keeps the driver visually informed about its current status and accepts instructions.

The Freightliner Inspiration Autonomous Truck on a US highway near Las Vegas, on 5 May 2015
The Freightliner Inspiration Truck on a US highway near Las Vegas, on 5 May 2015.
 
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Tristan Wiggill
Seasoned writer, journalist, photographer, and editor.
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