Daimler trucks are going autonomous -- eventually. For now, Level 2 (L2) partial automation will have to suffice. The vehicle company behind Mercedes-Benz cars announced Monday at CES 2019 that its new Freightliner Cascadia big-rig will include higher levels of robotic driving. The semi-autonomous trucks will start production in July in North America. SEE ALSO: Uber fired Anthony Levandowski.
BUCHAREST, Romania – Some 3,000 ethnic Hungarians have staged a march in Romania's northwest Transylvania region to demand more autonomy. They gathered in Targu Mures, a city that is home to many ethnic Hungarians, on Saturday carrying a giant Szekler flag, a symbol of the Hungarian minority seeking greater self-determination in Romania. Participants shouted "Autonomy!" and presented a petition calling for territorial autonomy for their group. They said the request would not "affect the territorial autonomy and sovereignty of Romania." There are some 1.2 million ethnic Hungarians living in Romania, a country of 19 million.
Einride's trucks have no provisions for human drivers on-board, so the remote operator program is key. There isn't exactly a shortage of companies looking to disrupt the trucking industry. Tesla and Nikola are pushing their electrified semis pretty hard, and even legacy companies like Freightliner and Volvo Trucks are looking to ditch the diesel and embrace electrons. But there's one company, in particular, that's trying to go even further by making its trucks remote-operated. Einride, a Swedish company, has been working on its T-Pod and T-Log concepts for a few years now, both of which are electric and autonomous, with no provision for a human onboard operator.
Lior Ron, a cofounder of self-driving truck startup Otto (which was purchase by Uber for 670 million), says aftermarket sensors will allow big trucks to drive themselves down U.S. highways. SAN FRANCISCO -- Walt Martin spent a decade as a long-haul truck driver, logging as many as 200,000 miles a year on the road. Only he's not driving -- that task is being handled by self-driving truck technology built by Martin's new employer, Otto. The 8-month-old start-up founded by Google Car veterans was just bought by ride-hailing giant Uber for 670 million. "Fully developed, this tech will allow truck drivers to add more hours and more runs to their schedule," says Otto test driver Martin.
Artificial intelligence is a huge buzzword these days, especially in the automotive industry. AI has many applications and can mean different things, even within the automotive world. But the general concept can be imagined as a future where human beings have been completely removed from the entire driving equation. This could lead to a vehicular utopia with no more highway accidents, injuries, or deaths-- all the result of driverless cars. However, we are a long way from reaching this point.