Daimler Benz will commit around €500M (US$570M) over the next five years to further the development of automated HGVs, with the goal of achieving full commercial readiness of SAE level 4 by 2030
The aim is to design a vehicle of SAE autonomous level 4 that can move between fixed points without any human assistance.
At last week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Daimler Benz’s Automated Truck Research and Development Center, based in Portland, Oregon presented the autonomous level 2 Freightliner Cascadia truck, which is touted as the first-ever partially automated series production truck on North American roads. The model will be available in the US later this year.
The company stated: "Level 4 is the natural next step after level 2, increasing efficiency and productivity for customers, cutting costs per mile significantly. In doing so, Daimler Trucks is skipping the intermediate step of conditionally automated driving (level 3). Level 3 automated driving does not offer truck customers a substantial advantage compared to the current situation as there are no corresponding benefits to compensate for the technology costs."
Daimler AG Board member for trucks & buses Martin Daum said: "We are ready to launch the first partially automated new Freightliner Cascadia in 2019, and next, we tackle highly automated trucks. 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.”