Daimler unveiled its own self-driving truck at Hoover Dam in a ceremony this May. The self driving truck which is named as Inspiration truck is the first autonomous truck to be licensed to drive on US roads. The company designed it such that it can travel on the highway alongside with regular cars and trucks. If the vehicle is successful, then other vehicle could follow such as garbage trucks or city buses.
There are a few advantages of using autonomous truck than human driver truck. One of them is that the autonomous truck is using lesser fuel as it accelerates and decelerates more gently than human driver. Allowing a few autonomous trucks to travel in a convoy might be beneficial too as one truck could draft behind another and therefore reducing air resistance which in the end using lesser fuel. On top of that, they can tell each other when to slow down or speed up. Autonomous truck could also lower down the number of road accidents as according to study about 90 percent of the road accidents are caused by human driver.
Inspiration truck is designed such that it can recognize the pavement markings within 100 meters and such that it is able to stay within the lane as well as equipped with radar monitors to spot other vehicles up to 250 meters ahead so that it could adjust the speed limits accordingly. The only downside is that it is not entirely driverless, there is still a human driver monitoring the situation while on the road inside the autonomous truck. Therefore there is a safety concern whereby the human driver may try to use the system in a way that it is not designed to behave in certain way.
Inspiration truck unfortunately still years away from commercial release and there are a lot of testing to be done on Nevada roads to improve the truck further.