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Daimler Granted the First Autonomous Truck License in the U.S.

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 5/6/2015 Kelly Pleskot

Nevada has just approved the Freightliner Inspiration Truck as fit for road use, making the vehicle the first autonomous truck to be licensed in the U.S.

Freightliner Inspiration Truck 25© Provided by MotorTrend Freightliner Inspiration Truck 25 Daimler Granted the First Autonomous Truck License in the U.S.

Two Freightliner Inspiration Trucks, both made by Daimler, are now able to roam public streets in Audi Granted Second Vehicle Permit in Nevada, First for an Automaker" target="_blank">Nevada. To operate autonomously, drivers must activate a Highway Pilot mode, which uses a stereo camera and radar technology working in tandem with lane-keeping and collision-avoidance systems. Together, these technologies allow the truck to independently steer, regulate speed according to posted signs, and apply brakes when needed.

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Changing lanes and passing other cars, however, are maneuvers that must be initiated by the driver. And once the driver leaves the highway, it is his or her responsibility to take command of the wheel. The driver will also be asked to drive the vehicle if road construction or bad weather interferes with normal operation. Other vehicles can tell if the driver is in control of the truck at a given moment. The truck's license plate, indicators, and radiator grille turn blue during autonomous driving, and remain white or yellow in manual mode.

Daimler first demonstrated its autonomous truck technology about a year ago when it introduced the Mercedes-Benz Future Truck 2025. This truck managed to drive along a section of the A14 autobahn near Magdeburg in Germany by itself. For its latest creation, Daimler targeted the U.S. market by transferring its Highway Pilot System to the existing Freightliner Cascadia truck.

The automaker says that the Highway Pilot system gives truck drivers time to complete office work and other tasks during long hauls. It should also improve safety, and reduce fuel consumption by an estimated 5 percent. In the future, Daimler hopes to bring autonomous truck technology from the testing phase to series production. It will be interesting to see if individual states—of which only four have approved autonomous vehicle testing --will keep pace.

Source: Daimler

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