Elon Musk is not really sure when his company Tesla is going to start producing self-driving electric trucks. It’s possible they don’t have enough money to fund the project. Tesla wants to focus their attention on other projects such as the upcoming Model Y compact SUV and an electric pickup truck. This week Daimler, parent company to Mercedes Benz has unveiled a big truck fitted with self-driving technology. However, I’m disappointed to announce the truck is powered by diesel and not electric.
The German automaker says it will manufacture the truck this year. Daimler wants its fans to get a taste of what the future will look like, self-driving trucks. The company fist showed-off a prototype in 2015. Now in 2019, four years later the company is finally bringing the product to life. Daimler calls it the Freightliner Inspiration Truck and I must tell you, the truck is beautiful.
This beautiful Freightliner has the same basic driver assistance technology many modern cars offer. Features such as automatic lane centering, adaptive cruise control, and emergency braking are standard. This new Cascadia is a far cry from a fully autonomous truck. Daimler says the truck will have an optional 10-inch touchscreen in the dashboard, and a 12-inch digital cluster behind the steering wheel. Also, it will be able to receive over the air software updates just like Tesla cars.
If the driver takes off their hands from the steering wheel for 15 seconds, it warns them to place their hands back on the wheel. Failure to do that will make the warning light change to red. If the driver still refuses to place their hands on the wheel, the truck will slow down and stop at the side of the road. The technology is not yet perfect but Daimler has succeeded in polishing it to a decent level.