Daimler recently released their first class 8 truck with “level 2” driver’s assistance. So self-driving trucks are a long way coming. Although, Daimler claims that they’re aiming for the development of a self-driving truck within the decade. As of now, the company plans to hire 200 people in the Portland area, to develop self-driving semi-trucks.
The company is currently searching for engineers and robotics specialists with software programming skills. This “level 4” truck will be the first self-driving truck. Although minimal, the truck will be able to drive itself in certain situations.
Daimler has set aside $570 million for this venture. These trucks reduce the chances for human error. Artificial Intelligence must come a long way for trucks to inherently drive themselves. Although, with this level 4 update, the roads will be significantly safer. It is possible though, for the truck to guide itself on predetermined roads between stops with the help of a watchful human eye.
Even so, technological trucking updates depend on the advancement of technology itself. Unfortunately, trucking technology will level 3 automation because with today’s current technology it isn’t a viable option.
Daimler is one of the reasons trucking technology has advanced to where it is today. Because of their developments with platooning trucks, mass amounts of energy has been saved. Platooning trucks use electronics to pair the truck loads together. This saves both aerodynamics and fuel energy, similar to bicyclists drifting while trying to save energy.
Maybe if you’re looking forward to the development of these self-driving trucks, you can see Daimler testing on Interstate 84 in Oregon!