Daimler AG is starting to sell a truck that can brake accelerate and steer at all speeds on its own. It’s a big step forward for automated drive and it’s filling a void as internet shopping strains freight companies that are battling driver shortages.
The updated Freightliner Cascadia has lane keeping assist that uses radar and cameras to power the partially autonomous technology. It will be capable of both lateral (steering) and longitudinal (acceleration/deceleration) control. Highly-automated trucks will improve safety and boost the performance of logistics.
The company says the new Cascadia also features one of the industry’s most efficient designs, due to Daimler’s significant investment in ongoing R&D in aerodynamics, powertrain development and systems intelligence. The enhancements give the new Cascadia a 35% improvement in fuel efficiency compared to the first Cascadia introduced in 2007.
Another critical component of the new Cascadia’s performance is its Integrated Detroit Powertrain, a powerful combination of a proprietary heavy-duty engine, transmission, and axle that is designed to seamlessly work together for maximum efficiency. The integrated powertrain features Intelligent Powertrain Management 6, which uses the truck’s kinetic energy to automatically adjust to the truck’s surroundings by reducing braking power and making transmission and engine adjustments, saving fuel and reducing wear and tear on components.
In addition to Level 2 automated driving features, the Detroit Assurance 5.0 active safety and advanced driver assistance systems are designed to keep truck drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, and other motorists safe:
Active Brake Assist 5.0: The fusion of Detroit Assurance 5.0 camera and radar technology detects moving pedestrians and cyclists in front of the truck and can deploy full braking – an industry first. It can also detect and mitigate a collision with full braking on moving and stationary vehicles and objects.
Side Guard Assist: Detects objects, including pedestrians and cyclists, in the passenger-side blind spot for the tractor and a full-length 53-foot trailer, another industry first, and delivers an audible and visual warning.
Success in North America is vital for Daimler’s commercial vehicles unit to expand sales and profits after global deliveries rose above 500,000 vehicles last year, the highest in a decade.