Daimler Autonomous Semis to Test on German Roads Soon
30 Juillet 2015 - Autoblog
Every day, it seems like the driverless future edges one step closer to reality. In the latest advancement, Daimler intends to have semi-autonomous big rigs testing on public roads in Germany in the very near future. A production application of this tech is expected to be as close as two years away.
"We are positive that we will get approval for tests on German motorways within the next weeks," Wolfgang Bernhard, Daimler executive board member for the company's trucks, told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, according to Reuters. "Then we will start immediately." The trials are likely to kick off in the company's home state of Baden-Württemberg, where Stuttgart is located.
Daimler is already no stranger to applying autonomous tech to big rigs, though. Earlier this summer, the company's Freightliner Inspiration (pictured above) became the first partially self-driving commercial truck to take to the roads in Nevada. That semi was equipped with a plethora of cameras, radar and other monitoring systems to make piloting itself on the highway possible.
While autonomous semis appear on the way, the tech is expected seriously disrupt the industry as it is introduced. Trucking is one of the top employers in the US, but studies are suggesting that these jobs have the potential to disappear. Some research even found that machines could replace as many as 47 percent of American workers in the next 20 years.