Freightliner has unveiled their newest truck called the Inspiration. The company touts the truck as “the first licensed autonomous driving truck” and has consumption figures that are lower by up to five percent, improved traffic safety and reduced CO2 emissions.
The new truck is based on the existing Cascadia model and comes with what Freightliner calls the Highway Pilot. It features Adaptive Cruise Control as seen in the Freightliner Cascadia and Mercedes-Benz Actros but has added components for it to steer and interact with the traffic flow. The Inspiration truck has also undergone testing, traveling over 16,000 kilometers in Papenburg, Germany.
Freightliner says they had highway safety in mind in the making of the Inspiration truck. With the Highway Pilot system, the driver receives a message on the instrument cluster to activate the system. Once engaged, the Highway Pilot will take over the accelerator, brake and steering functions. It also follows the speed limit automatically and sensors regulate the distance between the truck and the vehicle in front even in stop and go traffic.
When it comes to overtaking, the system does not initiate autonomous passing maneuvers as well as changing lanes. The driver however can deactivate the system and in foul weather, the driver is prompted to take control of the truck again.