Scroll Top

World’s first licensed 18-wheel self driving truck

Daimler unveiled the new 18-wheeler yesterday during a ceremony at the Hoover Dam.

truck1The Freight liner Inspiration Truck, a concept truck, underwent extensive testing, Daimler said, before the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles granted it a license to operate on public roads in the state. This past year, the truck was driven more than 10,000 miles during a test in Germany.

The Inspiration Truck’s autonomous features are enabled by forward-facing radar, a stereo camera and Daimler’s adaptive cruise control, which automatically adjusts distances between vehicles to maintain highway speed. Many of the autonomous vehicle systems in the concept truck are already deployed in Daimler Truck’s current rig, the Freight liner Cascadia Evolution.

The radar unit is located in the center area of the Freight liner Inspiration Truck front bumper and it scans the road ahead at truck2long and short range. The long-range radar, with a range of 820 feet, scans an 18-degree view to provide both narrow and far views. The short-range radar, with a range of 230 feet, has a scanning range of 130-degrees; it looks wider for vehicles that might cut in front of the truck. The front radar unit is the basis for the Active Cruise Control and Active Brake Assist available in the Detroit Assurance suite of safety systems on the series production Freightliner Cascadia Evolution.

The area ahead of the truck is also is scanned by a stereo camera located behind the Freight liner Inspiration Truck windshield. The range of the camera is 328 feet, and it scans an area of 45-degrees horizontal by 27-degrees vertical. The camera recognizes lane markings and communicates to the Highway Pilot steering gear for autonomous lane guidance.


Daimler’s Highway Pilot computer system links the camera and radar technology with systems that provide lane stability, collision avoidance, speed control, braking, steering and an advanced dash display.



This story, “The first self-driving 18-wheeler hits the highways” was originally published by Computerworld.