Mercedes-Benz Designs an Autonomous Semi for 2025 [video]
There has been a great deal of talk about autonomous passenger vehicles what that means for us in the future. But that view of only thinking of self-driving cars for commuters and weekend warriors is far too narrow of a scope. There are plenty of vehicles (and drivers) that cover more miles every day, and would benefit much more from the implementation of autonomous vehicles.
You and I drive to work, and then park our cars and walk to our offices. But for many Americans, their vehicle is their office. From long-line truckers, to bus drivers and town highway department workers. These vehicles have many more miles put on them and their operators are under a great deal of stress. For these working men and women, a self-driving vehicle would be a huge improvement over their present working conditions, allowing them to focus on more.
One of the clearest examples of this is the Mercedes-Benz Future Truck 2025, which would employ all of the autonomous driving features currently under development:
Trucks with these kinds of technologies will be available in long-haul trucks in Europe within a decade. The operators of these vehicles would no longer be called “truckers,” but “transport engineers.” They would be able to focus on paperwork and communications with the home office while the truck drives itself. It is possible that it would extend the time that truckers could be on the road in a given day.
The Future Truck 2025 is the only one in existence, and a price has not yet been announced. It will be curious to see how this shifts perceptions (and compensation) of an industry like long-haul trucking, including how drivers will react to seeing self-driving semis on the road.