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11-01-2019 | Automated Driving | News | Article

Daimler Trucks invests half a billion euros in highly automated trucks

Patrick Schäfer

Daimler Trucks has announced that it wishes to invest half a billion euros in the development of highly automated trucks. The subject of platooning is being reassessed.

At the CES 2019, Daimler Trucks presented a truck with partially automated driving features. The Freightliner Cascadia, destined for the North American market, achieves level 2 in the hierarchy of automated driving. Daimler Trucks now wishes to focus on developing level 4 (highly automated) commercial vehicles, since level 3 did not offer any significant benefits. "We’re ready to launch the first partially automated new Freightliner Cascadia in 2019 – and next, we tackle highly automated trucks. Highly automated trucks will improve safety, boost the performance of logistics and offer a great value proposition to our customers – and thus contribute considerably to a sustainable future of transportation", declared Martin Daum, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG with responsibility for Daimler Trucks & Buses.

Platooning is less efficient than hoped

Daimler Trucks has announced its desire to invest half a billion euros in the development of level 4 trucks in the next few years. This would create 200 new jobs at Daimler Trucks. Furthermore, the company reports that following extensive tests in the U.S. it must now take a far more critical view of platooning than it has thus far. The results show that fuel savings, even in perfect platooning conditions, are lower in practice than in theory. For the American market, at least, analysis currently shows no business case for customers driving platoons with new, highly aerodynamic trucks.

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