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Prime Mover Magazine

Daimler invests half a billion in automated trucks

Commercial vehicle manufacturer, Daimler Trucks & Buses, this week signalled its plans to commit $US570 million to bring Level 4 automated trucks to the road in the next decade.

The global initiative is expected to create 200 new jobs as Daimler skips the intermediate step of conditionally automated driving regarded as Level 3, which still requires intervention by an operator on defined areas and between defined hubs.

In a statement Daimler said Level 4 promises greater advantages in efficiency and productivity for its truck customers.

The launch of the partially automated Freightliner Cascadia this year with Detroit Assurance 5.0 with Active Lane Assist follows on from its pioneering Freightliner Inspiration Truck, the first automated commercial vehicle to be approved for a road licence.

Martin Daum, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG said the company was taking automated trucking to the next level beginning with the launch of the Freightliner Cascadia 2019.

“Highly automated trucks will improve safety, boost the performance of logistics and offer a great value proposition to our customers – and thus contribute considerably to a sustainable future of transportation,” he said.

Daimler Trucks is already bringing partially automated driving features into series production. This also includes Active Drive Assist on the Mercedes-Benz Actros and FUSO Super Great.

Detroit Assurance 5.0/Active Drive Assist make partially automated driving possible in all speed ranges for the driver for the first time in a series production truck unlike systems that only work above a certain speed.

The new system can independently brake, accelerate and steer.

Active lateral control and the connection of longitudinal or lateral control in all speed ranges are new, according to Daimler, following the fusion of radar and camera information.

"We are excited to be part of a company that is investing so much in driver assistance technologies that will help our customers in the real world,” said Freightliner Australia Director, Steve Downes.

“We look forward to introducing some of the features showcased in Las Vegas to Australia with the Freightliner Cascadia next year," he said.

"We are confident it will set new standards for safety and connectivity in the Australian market."

Freightliner will confirm the detail of its leading safety and connectivity package closer to the launch of the new Cascadia, which is currently undergoing extensive Australian testing.

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