• Monday, May 27, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Come 2025, Mercedes trucks will be self-driven

businessday-icon

The egg-heads at Daimler group in Germany, owners of the Mercedes-Benz nameplate are not thinking ahead of what the future holds for the brand with a 3-pointed star, by further strengthening its technological leadership. And gradually, this way of thinking will soon stun the automotive world by year 2025 when Mercedes will open a new chapter in commercial vehicle craftsmanship.

  What this simply means is that the technology of tomorrow is already at Daimler Trucks, in the shape of Mercedes-Benz Truck 2015 pictured here. The autonomously driving truck was presented to a selected number of global motoring journalists from all over the world numbering over 500 including Business Day Nigeria  on the eve of the 65th International Motor show for commercial vehicles in Hannover Germany.

It is a perfect synthesis of technology and designs. ‘The Future Truck 2025’ is more than simply a new truck and ready to set new standards as a key component of the transport system of the future. The engineers are optimistic that when it arrives the world scene in its true form, it will delivered as an asset to fleet operators that will reduce emissions of all types, ensures maximum road traffic safety and increase the level of networking in road transport.

Simply put, the Mercedes-Benz Future Truck 2025 is far more than a remote vision as many of its technological elements are already available and ready to use. By the application of the new face of trucking in 2025, goods in transit in the future will be safer, more efficient and connected as a result. It will mark a revolution for road traffic and its infrastructure, the truck driving profession and the haulage industry as a whole.

“This truck provides compelling answers to the challenges that our customers will be facing in the future. Our aim therefore is to press forward with making this technology available for the market and to bring it to series production standard”, said Wolfgang Bernard, board member for Trucks and Buses at Daimler group, at the presentation of the innovative vehicle in Hannover.

What the celebrated automakers presented to the motoring world at the 65th IAA Commercial Vehicle show was how the transportation of goods on the roads will be running more efficiently, safer and more connected in 10 year’s time, and against this direction will greatly open up a whole new business perspective for Daimler trucks.

The Stuttgart-based automobile manufacturers demonstrated the capabilities of the Future Truck 2025 last July by driving autonomously at speeds of up to 80kilometers per hour in realistic traffic situations on a section of the A14 motorway in Magdeburg, Germany.

A major striking feature is that radar sensors and camera technology enable the vehicle to drive autonomously, independently of other vehicles or central control stations. Networking with other trucks or passenger cars extends its abilities further, but not necessary for autonomous driving. All this technology is brought together by Mercedes-Benz in the highly intelligent Highway Pilot system, which resembles the autopilot system of an aircraft.   

All sensors on board the Future Truck 2025 are networked and, through a process of data fusion in the central computer, provide a complete image of the surroundings. All moving and stationary objects in the truck’s vicinity are registered. The sensor and camera technology is active from standstill to the legally permitted maximum speed for trucks.  By intervening in the steering, it automatically keeps the truck safely in the centre of its lane. The system also includes a three-dimensional digital map, as is already currently used for the assistance system Predictive Power-train Control (PPC). This means that the truck is always fully aware of the road’s course and topography, with a resulting positive effect on fuel consumption.

A new feature is the blind spot assist, which is itself a technological breakthrough when it comes to safety, which Daimler will bring into series in the coming years. Radar sensors monitor the sides of the truck and alert the driver to the presence of other road users to either side of the vehicle who may not be immediately visible. According to Bernard, the reason for this technological input is as simple as it is convincing; “Our ultimate aim is to make truck driving accident-free, and with the Blind Spot Assist, Daimler is taking an important step in this direction”.

We shall keep our readers posted on this new wonder on wheels. This is just another vista in new things to come at Mercedes-Benz under franchise-ship in Nigeria by Weststar Associates Limited.

MIKE OCHONMA