Truck with Highway Pilot:
World Premiere on Public Roads
Shaping Future Transportation: Daimler Trucks focuses its attention on transport of the future
On the "Autobahn" A8 near Stuttgart (70 km to Karlsruhe) airport "Daimler Trucks" had the world's first series-production truck to operate on an automated basis drive on the motorway. Together with the state of Baden-Württemberg's Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann, Dr Wolfgang Bernhard, Board Member of "Daimler AG" responsible for Trucks and Buses, is undertaking the maiden journey in the "Mercedes-Benz Actros" with Highway Pilot system.
With this permit the truck is allowed to drive on motorways on an automated basis. The truck used for the premiere is a standard "Mercedes-Benz Actros" equipped with the intelligent Highway Pilot system for this test of autonomous driving on public roads. The truck is approved as a test vehicle in accordance with §19/6 StVZO (German road traffic type approval law). The Rhineland German Technical Inspection Authority had inspected the vehicle and issued an expert opinion.
On this basis the Baden-Württemberg regional council granted an exemption in accordance with §70 StVZO. „Today's premiere is a further important step towards the market maturity of autonomously driving trucks – and towards the safe, sustainable road freight transport of the future“, said Daimler Board Member Dr Bernhard. Sven Ennerst, Head of Development Daimler Trucks, commented: „We are delighted that Baden-Württemberg has approved these tests for us. In so doing the state is demonstrating true pioneering spirit. And we are of course also delighted that the German Technical Inspection Authority has so clearly confirmed the safety of our system.“ The multi-sensor fusion, i.e. the combination of proven new-generation assistance and safety systems and sensors, enables the truck with the Highway Pilot system to continually observe the entire area in front of the vehicle and to take control itself in certain situations. This gives Dr Wolfgang Bernhard the opportunity to take his hands off the wheel without incurring any risks. Dr Wolfgang Bernhard drives the Mercedes-Benz Actros from the service station onto the motorway towards Karlsruhe. As soon as the truck has entered the flowing traffic in the right-hand lane, it's „Highway Pilot On“ and the system now offers to take over vehicle operation.
The driver can confirm at the press of a button. The "Actros" meticulously keeps to its lane and maintains the optimum distance to the vehicle in front of it. Should the distance become too small or if a vehicle cuts in front of it, the truck brakes. Both vehicle occupants are sitting comfortably in the functional and modern cab and are chatting in a relaxed fashion.
At the airport/trade fair exit the system again asks Wolfgang Bernhard to take control and the truck reverts from automated driving mode to manual control – „Highway Pilot Off“. He steers the "Actros" off the motorway and then drives directly back onto the A8 again, this time in the opposite direction. The scenario is exactly the same: the "Actros" steers and brakes independently in the flowing motorway traffic.If it approaches an obstacle, such as roadworks here on the A8, the system asks the driver to take over the vehicle. If the roadworks are behind the truck, the Highway Pilot can once again take over control of the vehicle. The system safely assists both occupants up to the Wendlingen exit. Here Wolfgang Bernhard again takes over the driving and steers the truck off the motorway. (ps)
Information: The "Mercedes-Benz Actros" is fitted with the 12.8 l engine, OM 471 and all the proven assistance and safety systems, such as "Mercedes" PowerShift 3, Predictive Powertrain Control (PPC), Active Brake Assist 3, proximity control, drowsiness detection and a Fleetboard vehicle computer. These systems are linked with the sensors of the Highway Pilot – radar and stereo camera. So all the technology of the "Actros" with Highway Pilot is in the vehicle, and the truck does not need the internet for its automated driving function. The system is ideal for the motorway: it maintains the correct distance to the vehicle in front and brakes in good time if another vehicle cuts out onto the road in front of it. The Highway Pilot does not replace the driver, but supports and relieves the strain on them by dealing with monotonous stretches for them and taking care of annoying stop-and-go driving in a traffic jam. In automated mode the driver has control over the truck at all times and in tricky situations can take over driving of the vehicle again. The redundancy in the sensor system and fail-safer components such as the steering and brakes ensure an extremely high safety standard. If the minimum prerequisites for the system are not present due to bad weather or missing road markings, the Highway Pilot issues acoustic and visual impulses to ask the driver to take over. The driver has sufficient time to take over the task of driving. If there is no reaction from the driver, the truck brings itself to a standstill independently and safely. Around two thirds of all accidents in road traffic are rear-end collisions and accidents resulting from unintentionally leaving the lane. Often the causes are drowsiness, distraction and driving errors. This is where the Highway Pilot is superior to any human being. It is alert, concentrated and relaxed. Without exception, round the clock, seven days a week.
MOVIE of the first ride.
MOVIE of the first ride.