Mercedes-Benz Actros Highway Pilot
For the last decade or so, Mercedes-Benz has been working on automated driving technologies that are beginning to make their way into the mainstream of the auto industry. Although they don’t take over complete operation of the car, they do make life a lot easier, especially for people who drive for a living. You know, because driving is a pain the calves. To send us further into the future, the global debut of the Mercedes-Benz Actros Highway Pilot is upon us. It is the same kind of autonomous technology found in the S-Class, but it is for semi-trucks.
What is Highway Pilot?
Mercedes-Benz is boldly claiming that Highway Pilot is a safer driver than any human being. This may roust up some controversy, but the German auto manufacturer with over 100 years of experience is probably right. Highway Pilot is similar to DISTRONIC PLUS because it uses sensors to observe its surroundings. By being aware of what is around it, the semi-truck can navigate the highway without any help from the driver. Once it gets off the highway though, it needs help from the driver. Similarly, the driver can take control at any time he wishes. So don’t worry truck drivers! For now, this will only make your job easier, not replace it.
Actros Highway Pilot Maiden Voyage
The Actros is on its maiden voyage as this is being written with a Daimler AG board member behind the wheel. They are traveling from Denkendorf to Stuttgart. This is about a forty minute drive along the A8. If it goes well, we will certainly see a rapid implementation of the Mercedes-Benz Actros with Highway Pilot into regular production.
Release: 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC SUV
Mercedes-Benz Highway Pilot Release
Mercedes-Benz has been experimenting this technology for a long time. Probably longer than they will admit. With that being said, the Actros with Highway Pilot is not really a prototype anymore. It is fully functional and completely producible. We will watch closely as these trucks begin to overtake Europe in the next couple years and then the U.S. within five.
This technology is already available in many Mercedes-Benz passenger vehicles. If you would like to see how it works, come to Mercedes-Benz of Arrowhead for a test drive.