Daimler's autonomous truck hits public roads in Virginia
Daimler has been testing self-driving trucks for a few years now, rolling out the first to travel on public roads back in 2015. Now, after extensive testing on a closed loop track, the automaker has taken its Level 4 autonomous truck out on public roads in Virginia.
The latest tests are taking place on highways near the headquarters of Torc Robotics in southwest Virginia. The recently acquired automated driving tech developer is responsible for a system known as Asimov – after writer Isaac Asimov who devised the Three Laws of Robotics – that's been tested in both urban and long-distance routes and in various conditions, and has now become part of the Autonomous Technology Group of Daimler Trucks.
To other road users, the test truck looks pretty much like any number of standard trucks rolling down the highway – though the writing on the side of the trailer and array of sensors might give its purpose away.
Unlike the striking Vera vehicle from Volvo Trucks, the Daimler truck has a systems engineer and a safety driver in the cabin who are ready to take over if needed.
"As we pair Daimler's expertise in building safe and reliable trucks with Torc's genius in engineering Level 4 vehicles, we have no doubt we will do great things in the future," said Roger Nielsen of Daimler Truck North America LLC. "We look forward to writing history together. The US highways are the perfect place to develop automated driving technology."