Freightliner Inspiration: The Autonomous Truck

Published on May 6, 2015 in Technology/Autonomous Vehicles by Frédérick Boucher-Gaulin

The autonomous vehicle has made some impressive advances in the last few months. Some manufacturers now install semi-autonomous functions, while others assure us that their cars could drive themselves if it was legally possible…

Even the trucking world won’t be spared. Mercedes-Benz recently presented a self-driving tractor truck, and Freightliner just presented their Inspiration prototype, which is supposedly capable of driving itself without anyone behind the wheel.

The Inspiration is based on the Freightliner Cascadia, but features a slew of technology to help it ‘’see’’ what’s around it: up front, there is a radar and a pair of cameras (helping the vehicle discern obstacles and their relative distance) and adaptive cruise control, which is already offered on the Cascadia.

The biggest advantage of this concept is that it’s already legal: the State of Nevada authorized the Inspiration to drive on its roads in fully autonomous mode. The truck has to be driven on secondary roads, but once it’s on the highway, the driver activates autonomous mode and computers then fully take over.

So if you are driving through Nevada and spot a truck that looks like a Decepticon, don’t fear; it’s not there to enslave our planet, it simply wants to reduce accidents.

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