During a spectacular ceremony that took place last May at the famous Hoover Dam, Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) unveiled its Freightliner Inspiration truck to several hundred news media and trucking industry representatives. The new truck is a world premiere―it is the first partially autonomous commercial truck to be granted a license by the State of Nevada, United States, to operate on an open public highway and not only on a closed circuit.
The Freightliner Inspiration truck can drive in autonomous mode. It is equipped with sensors and camera technology that are responsible for maintaining legal speed, for staying in the selected lane, for keeping a safe distance from other vehicles and for stopping. Developed by engineers at DTNA, the vehicle promises to be the first of many technological advances that will safeguard the environment, reduce accidents, cut highway congestion and improve fuel consumption.
The truck is defined as Level 3 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in terms of vehicle capabilities. This enables the driver to cede full control of the vehicle under certain environmental or traffic conditions. When conditions require transition back to driver control, the vehicle monitors changes, for example for exiting the highway, on local roads and for making deliveries.
Thanks to the Freightliner Inspiration truck, drivers can optimize their time on the road by driving while handling important logistical tasks such as scheduling or routing. A true revolution!