If there is anything we’ve learned from CES 2019 it’s that autonomous technology is the future, and the future is closer than we might think. Daimler, the 13th largest car manufacturer in the world, will begin selling rough and tumble heavy duty trucks later this year. With a planned launch that will overlap with Tesla’s release of their own Semi truck.
Daimler’s version of a semi-autonomous truck will be able to brake, accelerate, and steer at varying speeds on its own. This comes at a time when freight haulers are in demand and at a high strain to deliver consumer goods all across the country within tight deadlines, often leading to dangerous, and sometimes deadly conditions.
In an interview at the CES in Las Vegas, representatives for Daimler say, “The updated combustion-engine-powered Freightliner Cascadia, which also will have lane-keeping assistance, fuses information from radar and cameras to enable partially autonomous technology.”
The vehicles created by Daimler should significantly improve safety and bolster performance logistics with all of its added features and technology. The company’s truck division is scheduled to invest 500 million euros ($574 million) in autonomous technology, adding 200 jobs to the roster.
In an effort to sustain its leg up over Volvo and Paccar Inc., Daimler plans to offer highly automated vehicles within the next 10 years that don’t require drivers on certain routes. “We take all competitors seriously, but one can’t conquer the market with just one truck. We have thousands of different vehicle variants,” says Truck Chief Martin Daum. “We’re far ahead of Tesla in electric trucks. They have to come a long way.”