Are Self-Driving Big Rigs the Future?

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In 2011 alone, there were over 1500 fatal collisions on Canada’s highways and roads. Distracted driving is one of the number one causes of vehicle collisions, followed by drunk driving and speeding. A transport truck driver has many distractions at hand: communicating with dispatchers, controlling GPS settings and fatigue are only a few. The truth is that nobody is a perfect driver, and the circumstances of our day can dictate how we drive. This is why many automobile manufacturers and companies have begun experimenting with driver-less cars. The U.S. has already permitted four states to have autonomous cars on their highways. Google already released 100 prototypes of their self-driving car, which has been in development since 2010. Other major car manufacturers like Ford, Volkswagen, Audi, Nissan, Toyota and Volvo are all also testing driverless cars as of last year. But it’s not only cars that are being tested. Those in auto careers will be interested to know that Mercedes-Benz is planning a self-driving transport truck for 2025 release.

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The Mercedes-Benz Future Truck 2025: The Key Elements

Mercedes-Benz has developed a big rig to give drivers more comfort, with the intent to cut back on highway accidents. The self-driving function works with a radar sensor in the lower area of the front which scans a range of up to 250m, and ensures that emergency brakes are deployed if necessary. A stereo camera located behind the windscreen keeps the area ahead of the vehicle in clear view. This camera identifies single or two-lane roads, moving objects, pedestrians and lane markings. The vehicle is programmed with Blind Spot Assist, which warns the driver about other road users when turning, and about any stationary objects which may cause a collision. As you can see, this vehicle and others in the trend of autonomous driving will be heavily programmed, requiring auto service technicians to become more proficient with new automotive electronics and technology.

The Interior

Mercedes-Benz has made sure that this is not just another self-driving vehicle, but a vehicle tailored to the needs of a transport truck driver. If you are in dispatcher school, you will recognize that in a trucking career, drivers spend weeks, sometimes months away from their families, and long days on the road not speaking to anyone other than a dispatcher. It’s not an easy life, but the Future Truck 2025 wants to make it a little less difficult. The interior of this vehicle is calming, spacious and comfortable, with wood flooring and instrument panel mixed with leather. When the truck is being driven autonomously, the driver can swing the chair back 45 degrees and relax. A tablet on the dashboard detaches and can be used to process documents, accept orders, schedule destinations and as a GPS.

Here’s a preview of the Mercedes-Benz Future Truck 2025:

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