7/3/2014

Daimler Targets Self-Driving Trucks by 2025

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Daimler AG is developing a system that will allow its large commercial trucks to drive themselves.

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Daimler AG is developing a system that will allow its large commercial trucks to drive themselves. The company unveiled the technology in prototype form in Germany earlier today.

The system, dubbed Highway Pilot, is being adapted from a similar system currently available in the Mercedes-Benz S-Class large luxury sedan. The technology could hit the highway by 2025, according to Wolfgang Bernhard, who heads Daimler's truck and bus operations.

Highway Pilot uses four radar sensors and a stereo camera to detect its surroundings. It also processes data about local topography, general traffic volume and other road conditions. Daimler demonstrated the technology in an Actros large truck over a 45-mile stretch of the German autobahn that included a construction zone.

The current system can steer, brake and accelerate automatically at speeds as high as 85 kilometers per hour (53 mph). It cannot automatically change lanes or pass slower-moving vehicles, but Bernhard says those features may be included in the system that goes into production a decade from now.