What’s the Latest?
By 2030, the image of the drowsy truck driver leaned over his steering wheel may be a thing of the past. That’s because German automaker Daimler anticipates that their Mercedes-Benz Future Truck 2025 will have pushed self-driving trucks into the mainstream. According to the New York Times, Daimler recently showed off automated prototype by driving it (and not driving it) on the Autobahn near Magdeburg. The truck reacts to traffic and operates by itself at speeds of up to 85 km/h (52 mph). The driver is able to take control of the steering wheel in case of emergency, similar to how an airplane can be switched on and off from autopilot.
What’s the Big Idea?
Self driving cars are and have been the stuff of dreams of the future for some time now. Daimler isn’t the only company dabbling in the technology. Google’s got theirs. Volvo is testing several prototypes. Meanwhile, American manufacturers have been less open to the prospect of autonomous vehicles. It remains to be seen whether automation turns out to be a successful disruptive technology in an industry that’s been doing things its own way for over a hundred years. It’s also highly possible that self-driving cars go the way of QR Codes and Cinerama, technologies whose potentials were outweighed by myriad tangential inconveniences. Still, this is exciting stuff. It will be interesting to see what the truck looks like eleven years from now when Daimler releases it to the public.
Read more at THE NY TIMES
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