Mercedes-Benz Unveils Most Advanced Self Driving Tech on Future Truck 2025

If there are vehicles out there that really need autonomous driving, those have to be trucks. Think how fatiguing must be for truck drivers to just sit an drive for hours and cover as many miles as they can while also maintaining a low fuel consumption. And that’s why Mercedes-Benz decided to put all the self driving goodies available onto its Future Truck 2025 mule.
Mercedes-Benz Future Truck 2015 4 photos
Photo: Daimler Media
Mercedes-Benz Future Truck 2025Mercedes-Benz Future Truck 2025Mercedes-Benz Future Truck 2025
The Future Truck 2025 has been revealed in Magdeburg, Germany, but if you expected it to feature some of those spaceship designs, you’ll have to wait until 2025 maybe.

This one here is actually a mule for the new autonomous driving technology, being based on a Mercedes-Benz Actros 1845. It’s engine develops 330 kW (449 hp) and 2,200 Nm (1,623 lb-ft) of torque and it comes paired by default with a 12-speed PowerShift 3 automated transmission. Neat, but wait to see the gadgets that make it autonomous.

Called the “Highway Pilot”, the self driving feature is assured by around 4 radar sensors and WiFi communication, which probably makes this the most advanced autonomous vehicle we have now.

At the front, a radar sensor in the lower bumper scans 250 m of road ahead with an 18-degree opening. A short range sensor scans for 70 m at a 130-degree angle, both providing the basis for the Proximity Control Assist and emergency Braking Assist (which are also available on current trucks).

Aiding these two radars is a front stereo camera that works for 100 m and scans an area of 45 degrees horizontally and 27 degrees vertically. Using advanced software, it can identify road lanes, pedestrians, moving or stationary objects, road signs as well as the condition of the road surface.

There is also a 170-degree lateral radar on each side of the cabin scanning up to 60 m in both directions. Data provided by all the sensors is then analised by a high-performance multi-core processor in the central computer to provide a continuos view of the entire area surrounding the truck.

To be compatible with future plans of vehicle-to-vehicle communication, the truck has been fitted with V2V and V2I (vehicle-to-infrastructure) networking, to announce its presence and intentions on a 500 m radius via WiFi.

All the systems are working together to create the first fully autonomous truck in the world at the moment. Once the “Highway Pilot” is activated, the driver can rotate his seat by 45 degrees into a working or resting position, while the truck will use GPS data and its own systems to cruise along.

However, for safety reasons the trucker must not leave the seat, which is monitored via a camera and a load sensor. Although the truck can go for itself and adapt to traffic, it can’t overtake or change lanes where the highway forks. The driver will be notified when approaching such areas or an exit point relevant to the route and then let him take control.

According to Daimler Board of Management Dr, Wolfgang Bernhard, “if the legislative framework for autonomous driving can be created quickly, the launch of the Highway Pilot is conceivable by the middle of the next decade.”
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