During CES, Daimler Trucks announced that it was to invest €500 million and create more than 200 new jobs over the next few years in its mission to bring highly-automated trucks to public roads within a decade.
Currently testing trucks with level 2 autonomy, Daimler will skip level 3 as it says “level 4 is the natural step after level 2, increasing efficiency and productivity for customers, cutting costs per mile significantly. In doing so, Daimler Trucks is skipping the intermediate step of conditionally automated driving (level 3).” Level 3 automated driving does not offer truck customers a substantial advantage compared to the current situation as there are no corresponding benefits to compensate for the technology costs.
Daimler’s new Freightliner Cascadia, which also made its debut today, offers level two automated driving features, making it the first-ever partially automated series production truck on North American roads.
Back in 2014, Daimler presented the Mercedes-Benz Future Truck 2025, the world’s first automated truck. Judging by the two new products unveiled today, the company is way on its way to realising its vision.
Martin Daum, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler with responsibility for Daimler Trucks & Buses, commented: “As a leader of our industry, we’ve been pioneering automated trucking. In 2015, our Freightliner Inspiration Truck got the first road license ever for an automated commercial vehicle. Now we take automated trucking to the next level: we’re ready to launch the first partially automated new Freightliner Cascadia in 2019 – and next, we tackle highly automated trucks. Highly automated trucks will improve safety, boost the performance of logistics and offer a great value proposition to our customers – and thus contribute considerably to a sustainable future of transportation.”