Mercedes Introduces Future Truck 2025 Concept
Smart cars aren’t, well, just cars. All of this new technology, each in itself a step towards the realization of self-driving cars can be applied to trucks as well. Mercedes-Benz has just pulled the wraps off of what they think the future holds for the trucking industry with their Future Truck 2025 Concept.
Most of these autonomous driving features centre around safety. If they’re not already in Mercedes production cars, they will be in future ones. Now, Mercedes is planning to integrate them into trucks. Yes, self-driving trucks. The Future Truck 2025 is fully equipped with all of the latest self-driving technology, presumably to ease the stress of drivers and save operators money. Potentially, it may also cost drivers their jobs, but it will probably be some time before that happens. Self-driving trucks, or at the very least ones loaded with autonomous driving technology will self-optimize for the best possible fuel economy, avoid accidents, and ease labour shortages.
These trucks will be loaded up with cameras, sensors and inter-vehicle communications, essentially communicating with other vehicles on the road. One important one is Daimler’s Predictive Powertrain Control, which monitors and adjusts fuel consumption according to the road’s topography and route characteristics. The system optimizes acceleration and braking, ultimately improving traffic flow.
Another is the Highway Pilot assistance system, which essentially puts the truck on autopilot at speeds of up to 85 km/h. This system allows similarly equipped trucks to communicate with one another through vehicle to vehicle wifi, and radar on each side of the truck and a front-based depth detecting camera. Drivers can override the system to take back full control at any time. When trucks such as the Future Truck 2025 are able to communicate with one another, they will occupy less space on the road, easing congestion, at least on multi-lane roads.
According to Daimler, the Mercedes-Benz Future Truck 2025 is a truck that will be able to drive itself safely and efficiently at speeds of up to 80 km/h. Of course, it will be a while before legislation changes enough to even allow self-driving vehicles on our roads, but that day will come and Mercedes thinks that will happen around 2025, probably in Europe first. As of November, 2015, the European Union will require all large trucks to be equipped with lane departure warning systems and advanced emergency braking systems, each of which is part of self-driving technology.
By Linda Aylesworth – car-news.ca