Daimler takes a self-driving truck for a ride

German carmakers Daimler have successfully tested a driverless truck under real-life conditions.

The truck drove all by itself down the A8 motorway between Denkendorf and Stuttgart airport in Germany, the company wrote in a press release.

The Mercedes-Benz truck, named Actros, is equipped with intelligent Highway Pilot system, designed to monitor the road ahead and take control of the vehicle in certain situations.

The truck is powered by 12.8 l engine and Daimler fitted the next generation truck with radar, stereo camera, Mercedes PowerShift 3, Predictive Powertrain Control (PPC), proximity control, drowsiness detection, a Fleetboard vehicle computer, and Active Brake Assist 3.

“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.

The truck doesn’t rely on the internet to operate autonomously, but instead depends on sensors, radar and camera, making it suitable for highways.

Daimler highlighted that the Highway Pilot system is not designed to replace the driver but to support them by operating in stop-and-go driving in a traffic jam.

Even in automated mode, the driver of the truck will be able to take control of the vehicle at any given point, a system which is in most self-driving cars, where the driver can take control of the vehicle at any time.

The truck, however, won’t be able to operate on roads that are badly marked or during bad weather. In such cases it will alert the driver to take over, and if that doesn’t happen, it will safely stop moving.