Daimler Trucks has created a global organisation for automated driving to bring together its worldwide expertise and activities with the aim of putting highly automated trucks on the road within a decade.
It is investing €500 million in the new Autonomous Technology Group which will focus on the overall strategy and implementation of the automated driving roadmap. This will include research and development as well as setting up the required operations infrastructure and network, heading towards the series production of highly automated trucks.
It will focus on SAE level 4 automated driving, saying that in commercial trucking, level 4 is the logical next step after level 2 to increase safety as well as efficiency and productivity. Level 2 automated driving is already a reality at Daimler Trucks.
The new unit will be headed by Dr Peter Vaughan Schmidt, who is currently head of strategy at Daimler Trucks. He said: “With the Autonomous Technology Group, we are bringing together our global experts and their vast knowledge in automated trucking. In the first stage, we will focus on use cases of highly automated driving in defined areas and between defined hubs in the USA.
“In doing so, we will work closely together with customers whose business matches this automated
driving application. We will not only develop the respective technology but also set up the required operations infrastructure and network.”
In 2014, the company unveiled the Mercedes-Benz Future Truck 2025, the first automated truck. In 2015, Daimler’s Freightliner Inspiration Truck obtained a road license for a partially automated commercial vehicle, and in the same year, the world premiere of the Mercedes-Benz Actros with Highway Pilot took place on public roads.