Unlike cars, trucks have changed little. Most trucks still don’t have the basic safety features of a car. Plus they are huge, really bulky machines that can overshadow every other vehicle on the road. And worse, they are driven by people who themselves are sick of driving. And this driver fatigue is the reason behind most road accidents.
Until some day in 2025.
The future is coming. Remember this picture from Mercedes?
Inspiration Truck. That is what it is called. Made by Freightliner (under Daimler), this truck is a modification to their Cascadia Evolution. The truck looks great, and drives even better. It uses Daimler's “Highway Pilot” technology to make the truck autonomous. The driver is still in charge of the truck, but doesn’t need to actively control it, hence reducing the risk of driver fatigue.
This truck is already road legal in Nevada, making it the first autonomous truck to be allowed on the road.
The rig was introduced in Nevada yesterday, at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Nevada’s governor Brian Sandoval was present at the event to provide the truck with its registration plate. He said, “Thank you for looking at the impossible and finding a safe way to make it possible”. The truck is rated a 3 on a scale of 5 of automation (based on The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), which is the same as Google’s driverless car.
The truck is said to undergo far more testing in various environments and seasons in the coming days. Moreover, there is a need for formulation of a country wide on autonomous vehicles for all states to benefit of this technology.
We can just hope that the truck will become more mainstream, catering to many more countries. Hopefully other companies worldwide will take inspiration from this truck (It is named 'Inspiration Truck' for a reason) and initiate the first stages of autonomous vehicles.
Scroll down for a slideshow pictures of the truck, taken from The Verge (all credits!).