Truck drivers could become a thing of the past on the highways of the future. Daimler thinks so and unveiled it driverless Future Truck 2025 on Thursday. Using the maker’s Highway Pilot system, the prototype semi-truck is capable of hauling a full load at speeds exceeding 50 mph. “The truck of the future is a Mercedes-Benz that drives itself,” said Wolfgang Bernhard, a member of Daimler’s Board. There are plenty of potential benefits from a driverless semi-truck. Google and several U.S. manufacturers are testing autonomous vehicles, but the Future Truck represents a new movement. Mercedes seems to be focusing on developing the truck for use in European Union countries. Bernhard suggested that legislative issues regarding the use of autonomous trucks need to be at the forefront of trade and commerce discussions because the technology is developing so quickly. The volume of road transport in Germany alone will increase from 3.7 billion tons today to nearly 5.5 billion tons by 2050, according to the country’s Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure.
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- Michael Strong, The Detroit Bureau
First published July 3 2014, 12:38 PM