Daimler Trucks Presents World Premiere: A Prototype Self-Driving Truck

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Mercedes-Benz Future Truck 2025

The Mercedes-Benz Future Truck 2025, a prototype for the self-driving truck of the future.

By Henny Hemmes
Senior European Editor

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Mercedes-Benz Future Truck 2025

STUTTGART - July 5, 2014: The event highlighted Daimler’s demonstration of the first autonomous journey of the semi-trailer truck on a stretch of Autobahn near Magdeburg, Germany. The prototype can drive completely autonomously down the freeway up to a speed of 85 km/h (52 mph) while hauling a full load.

Dr. Wolfgang Bernhard: “The truck of the future is a Mercedes-Benz that drives itself.” The technology will lead to better efficiency, connectivity, and safety by using Daimler’s Highway Pilot assistance system.

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Dr. Wolfgang Bernhard with Mercedes-Benz Future Truck 2025
In fact, autonomous driving has a lot of advantages and, according to Dr. Bernhard, “it will revolutionize road freight transport.” Daimler aims to be the number one manufacture in this market.

Even though car manufacturers are focusing in the development of self-driving passenger cars, there is no obstacle to implement the technology in trucks. Truck manufacturers and suppliers have developed new safety systems, aimed at assisting drivers driving safely and to recognize for instance drowsiness.

At the moment such a system exists already in the Mercedes passenger cars and also supplier Lytx offers, for instance, the DriveCam, a video-base safety device. The company says the use of such technology will reduce fatal truck and bus accidents by some 20 per cent, resulting in 800 less deaths on European roads.

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Mercedes-Benz Future Truck 2025

The self-driving truck will also change the life of the truck drivers. They will be freed of their monotonous drives, and consequently will have time for new tasks, that were previously handled by office workers at shipping companies. They will be able to take up new position as transport managers, making truck driving a more attractive profession. Autonomous driving could also help to resolve the shortage of truck drivers.

A study from consulting company ProgTrans AG predicts that freight transport in the European Union will increase by some 20 percent between 2008 and 2025, with 75 percent of all road transport will be done by trucks. According to the German ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, road transport in Germany alone will increase from the current 3.7 billion tons to some 5.5 billion tons by 2050.Reducint the cost of transport would benefit economic growth.

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