Clearly, the guys over at Google and Tesla are onto something with their innovative automotive efforts. Mercedes-Benz, arguably the creme of automobiles, appears to be taking cue from Sergey Brin and Elon Musk with its own vision for trucks of the future. The project is fittingly called: Future Truck 2025 study.
Self-driving trucks are the staple of the future as envisioned by the Daimler brand, which believes these vehicles will hit the road within five years. The company’s own prototype was tested on the A14 motorway in Magdeburg, Germany, reaching 80 km/h. What it actually looked like was a mystery until now, with Mercedes-Benz finally revealing the truck’s interior and exterior ahead of the 2014 International Commercial Vehicle show (IAA).
At the core of the ‘truck of the future’ is the “Highway Pilot” system that connects to other vehicles with assistance systems and enhanced sensors. Mercedes-Benz liken it to auto pilot on aircraft.
The truck’s transmission is conducted through WLAN technology on standard Europe-adapted G5 frequency of 5.9 GHz. The ITS Vehicle Station (Intelligent Transport Systems and Services) is onboard; standardized communication between cars is done in continuously sent messages with a radius of up to 500 meters.
The technology forms the basis of the 2025 study. It includes a radar sensor that scans the road ahead up to 250 meters, while another sensor scans up to 70 meters. A stereo camera with a 100-meter range is situated above the instrument support behind the windscreen and monitors the area ahead of the vehicle.
The concept truck is defined by what it lacks as much as what it packs on. As far as looks are concerned, the concept is quintessential Mercedes, with its light silver exterior and smooth contours. However, headlamps and mirrors are gone, replaced with cameras and LEDs that light up when the engine starts. As the car changes direction, orange lights flash. When it self-drives, the lights change from white to blue.
One touch is classic Mercedes-Benz: the interior has a wood finish.
Welcome back to the future, Future Truck 2025.
Photo Credit: Mercedes-Benz