Future Truck 2025
“Future Truck 2025” by Mercedes looks to change the way tractor trailer’s will be driven in the future. A self driving semi truck of the future, Future Truck 2025 will automate driving for the driver. That is a bit scary for some folks, who are already weary of driving besides these big machines on the road already.
This bold new idea, from Mercedes is designed to cut down on accidents and to help save money for trucking companies. This is the first self driving semi truck, and Mercedes says it will cut down on the amount of driver errors seen on roads and highways, by always being alert, scanning for changing road conditions.
The company sent a semi truck on the world-famous Autobahn in an autonomous state, with the driver inside surfing his tablet. How scary is that!?
The short 3 mile trip down the Autobahn was a success. The truck was fitted with special cameras and radar systems to detect vehicles all around it. Lane changes were carefully carried out by the vehicle, while the driver was glued to his tablet. The project is also designed to save companies on fuel, by allowing the computer systems in the self driving semi to keep up steady speeds while avoiding excessive use of the throttle.
Computers and sensors limit the speed of the massive vehicle, and if another car makes a lane change and pulls in front of Future Truck 2025, the on board systems will slow the vehicle down to prevent a collision. For the truck to pass a slow-moving vehicle, the driver has to then do his job and actually drive the truck by taking over.
Unnerving for many people, the real kicker is that the driver is actually fully responsible for the safe operation of the vehicle the entire trip even while the truck is driving itself. While it may make sense to Mercedes and some trucking companies, I can’t help but to think how far we have come in laziness.
If we have gotten to the point where drivers can’t drive, and need machines to do the driving, I have to ask myself, what kind of company would use such people? Do people really need machines to drive themselves? Has technology gotten us so lazy that we can’t even drive? Why get a license then?
With the rapid advancement in technology, companies are always looking for ways to increase productivity while reducing costs. Future Truck 2025 is a step in that very direction, with hopes of implementing the technology world-wide. For such a truck, don’t expect the price of admission to come cheap.