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Daimler to spend $570M on autonomous trucking tech

by Justin King

The new Freightliner Cascadia is claimed to be the first partially automated series production truck to on North American roads.

Daimler has announced plans to invest around $570 million USD in autonomous trucking technology.

The company is starting small, bringing Level 2 partial automation to its new Freightliner Cascadia. The truck is claimed to be the first semi-automated production truck to arrive in the North American market.

The Level 2 system can automatically brake, accelerate and steer in all speed ranges, thanks to camera and radar integration. The technology essentially matches the semi-automated features that are already available on consumer vehicles.

Daimler plans to skip right past Level 3, arguing that such an upgrade does not offer any substantial advantage over Level 2 in the trucking industry. The company is instead focused on achieving Level 4 autonomy, defined as capable of traveling in defined areas and between defined hubs with no expectation that a human driver will respond to a request to intervene.

The new technologies were outlined today at CES in Las Vegas. The company has not pinned down a timeframe for bringing a Level 4 truck to market, however.

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