Mercedes-Benz self-driving truck began its road test in Germany's Autobahn 8

By Money Times

Oct 06, 2015 10:29 PM EDT

Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz truck, Actros, the world's first self-driving truck, had started its road test on Germany's public highway. Daimler plans to release the autonomous truck by 2020.

The first ever autonomated truck had made a historic journey as it began its road test in Autobahn 8, Germany. The company had integrated the Highway Pilot technology into the Mercedes-Benz Actros. Sensors, cameras, and radar system were installed to turn it into a self-driving vehicle, the Business Insider reported.

A statement from the Newsweek said the automated truck reached 50 mph. It had traveled 14 kilometers between Stuttgart and Denkendorf.

The standard Mercedes-Benz Actros became an intelligent vehicle through the Highway Pilot technology. According to the company, the system could observe the entire driving area. It could steer and brake in traffic as well. The automated truck ensures the right distance on its own and stays in the right lane. The vehicle is perfect for monotonous zones.

In some situations where it senses an obstacle, the system will ask the driver to control the steering wheel. If it doesn't receive a response, it would automatically stop in time.

Remarkably, the Highway Pilot system had come up with a 'vehicle to vehicle communication'. It means autonomous trucks could communicate with each other and share data on the road in the future.

With that, your autonomous truck could take an alternative route if it receives information from other trucks that there's traffic congestion nearby.

However, it still needs a driver to control the vehicle in some instances like bad weather and upon exiting in an expressway. What comes most interesting is that the truck could identify the driver's drowsiness.

Slash Gear specified Daimler designed it to combine human and technology piloting so it will not be going to replace the drivers. Instead, it will make the drivers' life convenient and safer.

The company claims that the system is superior to the human being. It avoids accidents caused by sleepiness and other interruptions.

Daimler expects to release the autonomous truck on or before the year 2020. Though self-driving vehicles are not yet legal to navigate public roads, they are confident it will pass the regulations earlier than expected.

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